- China Sends Fighter Jets To Island, Demands No Mention Of “Contentious Issues” At Summit
by Tyler Durden, www.zerohedge.com
When Washington sent the USS Lassen to Subi Reef last month, it represented the most meaningful escalation yet in what has become an incredibly tense standoff in The South China Sea.
America’s friends in the region – most notably, The Philippines – seem convinced that Beijing has designs on using its newly constructed islands in the Spratlys as forward operating bases for future military operations. China of course denies this, but has nevertheless built 10,000 foot airstrips capable of landing fighter jets and surveillance aircraft, cement factories, and ports atop the reefs, and when a US Poseidon spy plane went to have a look back in May, the PLA told it to “Go now!”
There are conflicting accounts of just how “forceful” a message the US actually sent by sending a guided missile destroyer to Subi (some say the exercise wasn’t “convincing” enough), but it did serve to antagonize Beijing and indeed, Admiral Wu Shengli told US chief of naval operations Admiral John Richardson that this needs to stop now unless the US wants to go to war.
But by all accounts, the patrols aren’t going to cease because Washington needs to save face and reassure its allies in the South Pacific and so, the stage is set for an “accident.”
Now, reports indicate that China has sent J-11BH/BHS fighter jets to Woody Island, south of Hainan in what one could be forgiven for believing is an attempt to discourage US military flyovers. Here’s The Diplomat: