Tuesday, February 23, 2016

China Appears to Have Built Radar Facilities on Disputed South China Sea Islands

Satellite images suggest Beijing has been building new facilities on the South China Sea’s Spratlys

By Chun Han Wong, WSJ
Updated Feb. 23, 2016 3:28 a.m. ET

BEIJING—Fresh satellite imagery suggests that China has been building radar facilities on some of the artificial islands it built in the South China Sea, in a move that would improve its military power in the region, a U.S.-based think tank said Tuesday.

The report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies on the radar installations in the Spratly Islands comes days after U.S. and Taiwanese officials said Beijing had placed surface-to-air missiles on the Paracels chain, north of the Spratlys. The deployment prompted comments from Washington that China appears to be militarizing a region already racked by territorial tensions.

The report also coincided with the start of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s three-day visit to the U.S., where he is expected to discuss the South China Sea disputes and North Korea’s nuclear program, among other issues.

In its report, Washington-based CSIS said China’s new radar installations in the Spratlys “could significantly change the operational landscape in the South China Sea.”

(More here.)

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