World Satellite Images Show China Has Deployed Military Planes to South China Sea
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Two government biologists barely made it off a volcano alive. No one had known it was ready to erupt.Ford had climbed up the volcano’s steep slope to get a bird’s-eye view of the small island he and Ray Buchheit were stationed on as seasonal field technicians with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He needed to find a patch of earth big enough to land the Coast Guard helicopter he believed was on its way to evacuate them.
Satellite images obtained by The Washington Times show several Chinese military aircraft deployed from islands in the widely disputed South China Sea, indicating that China has taken residence and established military operations there.
The images were obtained from former Navy intelligence officer J. Michael Dahm of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), who told the newspaper, "The most significant change in military posture in 2021 is the appearance of Chinese special mission aircraft and helicopters at Subi and Mischief Reefs, indicating the PLA may have commenced routine air operations from those airfields."
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The tactic targets civilians in bid to stifle support for resistance fighters, but appears to be backfiring.“Our family has never been involved in politics … We’re just trying to survive,” Awng Di’s mother told Al Jazeera. “Now, I want to curse [the military soldiers] every time I see them.
The PLA, an acronym for the Chinese People's Liberation Army, reportedly occupied Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in May and June, and the Subi Reef in June and July.
These artificial islands "fill critical gaps in PLA navy capabilities in the South China Sea, especially in terms of reconnaissance and airpower," Dahm said.
China has already built 9,000-foot runways on the three islands to accommodate any aircraft in its fleet, including its nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, according to American Military News.
The aircraft seen in the satellite images were allegedly PLA KJ-500 airborne warning and control planes, Y-9 transport planes, and Z-8 helicopters.
At Mischief, Subi, and Fiery Cross Reefs, Dahm also reported in March that China has anti-aircraft, anti-ship and land-attack missiles, which "will likely be employed to cover and defend Chinese naval forces, giving them the ability to project military power deep into the South China Sea and Southeast Asia," said Dahm.
China Will 'Destroy' Japan Forces In A Taiwan Conflict, Media Personality Says
Officials in Tokyo and Washington have skirted around the topic of a collective defense of Taiwan following remarks by Japan's Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso.The bellicose retort by Hu Xijin—chief editor of the Communist Party newspaper the Global Times—was later also used by China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.
The militarization of the islands has been widely disputed, as the South China Sea has remained divided by multiple maritime claims by other countries, including Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.
The United States has expressed support for countries threatened by China's presence in the sea, and on Monday,said that should China attack the Philippines' forces, the U.S. would come to the Philippines' aid.
"Nowhere is the rules-based maritime order under greater threat than in the South China Sea," Blinken said in the statement. "The People's Republic of China (PRC) continues to coerce and intimidate Southeast Asian coastal states, threatening freedom of navigation in this critical global throughway."
On Monday, China's military reported they had chased an American warship out of a disputed area in the South China Sea.
Japan defence paper warns for first time of crisis over Taiwan
Defence report calls on Japanese government to pay attention to US-China tensions over Taiwan with ‘a sense of crisis’.This marked the first time that the report (PDF) – which was approved by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government on Tuesday – took up the issue of stability around Taiwan.
The islands are "China's inherent territory," the PLA said in a social media post on Monday. "The actions of thehave seriously violated China's sovereignty and security."
A document by the U.S. State Department in July 2020 was the first to officially reject China's territorialism as "unlawful."
"Beijing's claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them," the statement read. "The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire."
Newsweek reached out to Michael Dahm for additional comment but did not hear back in time for publication.
Nearly All 301 Crew Members Aboard South Korean Warship Infected With COVID .
South Korea's prime minister apologized for "failing to carefully take care of the health" of the sailors aboard the country's navy warship Munmu the Great.The entire crew left for their anti-piracy mission unvaccinated in February, before South Korea began rolling out vaccines. Over the past few days, 247 of 301 crew members tested positive and all returned to South Korea near its capital Seoul by military planes Tuesday evening. The virus outbreak is the largest within South Korea's military as the country combats surging COVID-19 cases.