China’s three outposts on contested Spartly Islands’ Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief reef bases are near ready for deployment of military assets including mobile missile launchers.
Beijing's Fiery Cross Reef base in the Spratly Islands now has 12 hardened shelters, four more than seen in February, with retractable roofs that can house missile launchers, the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative was quoted as saying by AFP after analysing satellite photographs.
At Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief Reef bases, China has expanded its communications and radar arrays with multiple radar towers on each.
And new construction of "very large underground structures, four at each reef, is underway, which AMTI said a likely designed to house munitions and other essential goods.
"Major construction of military and dual-use infrastructure on the 'Big 3' ... is wrapping up, with the naval, air, radar and defensive facilities that AMTI has tracked for nearly two years largely complete," the group said.
"Beijing can now deploy military assets, including combat aircraft and mobile missile launchers to the Spratly Islands at any time."
AMTI, part of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington, said the air bases on the three islands, and a fourth on Woody Island in the Paracel Islands, allow Chinese military aircraft to operate over almost the entirety of the South China Sea.
In December AMTI reported that large anti-aircraft guns and other defense systems had been installed ont he islands.
China claims nearly all of the South China Sea despite partial counter-claims from Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.
But the United States has warned it against militarizing the region or threatening international sea lanes.
"We oppose China's artificial island construction and their militarization that features in international waters," US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in Sydney in early June.
China and the 10 other countries in the Association of Southeast Asia Nations have agreed on the outline of a legally binding code of conduct designed to prevent clashes in the strategic South China Sea. The agreement laid a "solid foundation" for further negotiations, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin was quoted as saying by various Chinese media Thursday
China is installing missile launchers on strategic island base in the disputed South China Sea, the satellite images captured from an ImageSat International (ISI) Eros B satellite suggested Monday. The People's Liberation Army of China has constructed the Yulin naval base on Hainan Island and has been installing several missile launchers since March,
The Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has commissioned a new warship to its South Sea Fleet for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations in the disputed South China Sea. A new Type 056/056A Jiangdao-class corvette, named Liupanshui, was commissioned at Yulin naval base in the port city of Sanya on Hainan Island on March 31, China Military Online reports Friday
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The Philippines has decided to shelve planned upgrades to facilities on Spartly islands it controls, such as repairing an eroded runway, to avoid incurring Chinas wrath. The Philippine foreign ministry sent a note verbale to the Chinese embassy last month after confirming a report from the US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies about Chinas arms buildup in the Spratlys, Reuters reported Tuesday
Chinas military intercepted two US warships around the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea on Sunday, Ministry of National Defense said. Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Ministry, said two U
China today demonstrated its ability to operate long range strategic bombers far away from its shore by landing them in its disputed South China Sea Islands. Several H-6Ks from an unidentified aviation division, headed by division commander Hao Jianke, took off from an undisclosed air base in South China and made a simulated strike against sea targets before landing on an island in the South China Sea, according to a statement published by the People's Liberation Army Air Force on Friday
Chinese air force pilots of Sukhoi Su-35 and Su-30 fighter jets and H-6K bombers conducted combat exercises over the western Pacific Ocean and South China Sea recently, local media reports. According to spokesman, Senior Colonel Shen Jink, the People's Liberation Army Air Force conducted the exercises in two groups
China scrambled two fighter jets, a helicopter and a guided-missile frigate to deter US missile frigate which was nearing disputed islands in the South China Sea on Tuesday. The Huangshan guided-missile frigate, two J-11B fighter jets and one Z-8 helicopter were sent to counter the US ship in the disputed South China Sea, China's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Wednesday
The deadly incident of the US Navy destroyer which collided with an oil tanker on Monday off the coast of Singapore has received strong criticism in the Chinese media. The latest incident occurred just two months after the USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine container ship collided in waters off Japan, killing seven US sailors
The US Navy has called out its search operation for a sailor assigned to guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG-3) after he went missing on August 1 in the South China Sea. The US Navy destroyer was accompanied by Military Sealift Command ships USNS Vice Adm
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