Chinese warplane deployment in South China Sea imminent: USA think tank

Chinese warplane deployment in South China Sea imminent: USA think tank

Its director Greg Poling told Voice of America that new antennas had been spotted on Subi and Fiery Cross, so he expected deployments there soon.

China has nearly completed the construction of military facilities on the disputed South China Sea Islands, the US-based Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) think tank said.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday he has asked the USA ambassador why America did not deploy an armada of warships to pressure China to stop constructing man-made islands that are now at the heart of regional concerns in the disputed South China Sea. China proceeds today in surveying, planning, building upon and militarizing the islands, including runways, docks for aircraft carriers, radar, rockets, and underwater submarine pens.

The islands in the study - Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross reefs - are part of the Spratly chain, which is claimed in whole or in part by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei.

"H.E. Zhao looks forward to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) delegation's visit to China to hammer out actions, activities and new engagements to ensure that SCS is a sea of cooperation", Abella said.

March 29: China and the Philippines will hold the first meeting of a bilateral consultation mechanism on the South China Sea issue in May.

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China is looking forward to a May 2017 bilateral meeting with the Philippines to thresh out maritime issues in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea or SCS), Malacañang said Tuesday.

"Beijing can now deploy military assets, including combat aircraft and mobile missile launchers to the Spratly Islands at any time", said the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) on Monday in a report that included images of the three man-made islands-Fiery Cross reef, Subi, and Mischief. The tribunal also criticized China for destroying coral reefs, which it had a duty to protect-international law says that anyone building an island must undertake a thorough environmental assessment beforehand.

Commenting on the report, a senior Philippine defense official said the construction China has carried out on the islands "belies a clearly military objective contrary to Chinese public pronouncements that it is civilian in nature".

AMTI asserts that with the outposts in the Paracels and the Spratlys, China could project power across the vast majority of the South China Sea, which China claims despite the fact that its assertions were discredited by an worldwide tribunal a year ago. China announced, and last week denied, plans to build on the highly strategic Scarborough Shoal near Manila and Subic Bay. The more and louder Washington tells Beijing not to do it, the more and faster China will equip its islands with military gadgets and hardware.

The CSIS publishes such satellite images and reports periodically.

Duterte also stressed that he would not entertain any military alliance with China, noting that the Philippines has an existing Mutual Defense Treaty with the US. It lies 250 miles southeast of a major Chinese submarine base on Hainan Island.

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