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  1. #1
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    China 'building runway in disputed South China Sea island'

    Satellite images show China is making progress on building an airstrip on a reef in disputed territory in the South China Sea, a report says.



    The images, published by IHS Jane's Defence Weekly, show construction work on reclaimed land on Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands.
    The landmass could accommodate a runway about 3,000m long, the report said.

    China's land reclamation work in the area has raised concern around the Asia-Pacific region.

    China claims almost the whole of the South China Sea, resulting in overlapping claims with several other Asian nations including Vietnam and the Philippines.

    They accuse China of illegally reclaiming land in contested areas to create artificial islands with facilities that could potentially be for military use.
    Images have emerged of work in multiple areas in the disputed Spratly islands. China says its work is legal and needed to safeguard its sovereignty.

    Military use?


    The report from IHS Jane's used images provided by Airbus Defence and Space in February and March.

    The later image, dated 23 March, showed a paved section of runway on the north-eastern side of Fiery Cross Reef, as well as paving and ground preparation of other sections of the runway.

    The 3,000m length, it said, "would be well within the parameters of existing People's Liberation Army Air Force runways on mainland China, which vary in length from about 2,700m to 4,000m at most".

    It also showed dredging to the south of the reef, in apparent work to improve the reef's port facilities.

    Additional images showed that China could be building a second air strip on Subi Reef, also in the Spratlys and only 25km from an island with a Filipino civilian population, by creating and then linking three artificial islands, the report said.

    China's neighbours are concerned that Beijing is working to entrench a military presence in the South China Sea to reinforce - and make permanent - its claims.

    The Philippines said last year it believed China was building an airstrip in Johnson South Reef, in the Spratlys - the extent of work there is not clear. And earlier this week, another report citing satellite images said China was expanding an airstrip on Woody Island, much further north in the disputed Paracel Islands which Vietnam claims.

    Several recent sets of images have shown land reclamation work in the Spratlys. This shows ships and construction on Mischief Reef (photo: CSIS's Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe). Manila released this photo in May 2014 appearing to show Chinese land reclamation at Johnson South Reef President Barack Obama has said the US fears China is using "sheer size and muscle" to strong-arm smaller nations over the South China Sea.

    A US State Department spokesman says the US does "not believe that large-scale land reclamation with the intent to militarise outposts on disputed land features is consistent with the region's desire for peace and stability".
    But China insists it is acting within its rights.

    "China's work on the [Spratly] islands mostly serves civil purposes apart from meeting the needs of military defence. China is aiming to provide shelter, aid in navigation, weather forecasts and fishery assistance to ships of various countries passing through the sea," a commentary carried prominently by Xinhua news agency on Thursday read.

    China 'building runway in disputed South China Sea island' - BBC News

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looper View Post
    "China's work on the [Spratly] islands mostly serves civil purposes apart from meeting the needs of military defence. China is aiming to provide shelter, aid in navigation, weather forecasts and fishery assistance to ships of various countries passing through the sea," a commentary carried prominently by Xinhua news agency on Thursday read.
    Chinese spin is always so laughably transparent.

    Never forget what they did and ARE STILL DOING in Tibet !

  3. #3
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    Damn Chinese interlopers......

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    Tony Abbott confirms US has no plans to send B-1 bombers to Australia

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he has been assured United States B-1 bombers are not bound for Australia.
    Assistant US defence secretary David Shear told a Congressional hearing B-1 bombers and surveillance aircraft would soon be based in Australia as a deterrent to what America described as China's "destabilising effect" in the region.



    "We will be placing additional air force assets in Australia as well as B-1 bombers and surveillance aircraft," he said.

    The Pentagon now says the assistant secretary misspoke.

    "I understand that the official misspoke and that the US does not have any plans to base those aircraft in Australia," Mr Abbott said.

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    A spokesperson for the US Embassy in Canberra confirmed the mistake.
    "During May 13 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, US assistant secretary of defence David Shear misspoke on the subject of deploying US military aircraft to Australia," the spokesperson said in a statement.

    "The United States has no plans to rotate B-1 bombers or surveillance aircraft in Australia.

    "The United States and Australia continue to explore ways to strengthen our alliance and more effectively respond to shared challenges, both regionally and around the world.

    "We routinely rotate military assets through Australia, including a B-52 last December.

    "With respect to US force posture initiatives in Australia which were first announced in 2011 we are currently exploring a range of options for future rotations with our Australian counterparts, and the specifics of future force posture cooperation have yet to be finalised."
    China will resolutely uphold its territorial sovereignty. We demand the relevant side talk and act cautiously and not take any actions that are risky or provocative to maintain regional peace and stability.

    Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying
    Before the clarification, China's foreign ministry expressed "serious concern" with a spokeswoman, saying the country would "resolutely uphold its territorial sovereignty".

    Earlier, a spokesman for Defence Minister Kevin Andrews said the department was "aware of the comments made by a US official in Congressional testimony overnight".

    "The US government has contacted us to advise that the official misspoke," a statement read.

    The US Air Force said the B-1 bomber was the back bone of its long-range bomber force.

    The aircraft is capable of rapidly delivering 84 bombs weighing 227 kilograms each "against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time" and is currently being used to attack Islamic State in Iraq.

    Mr Shear told a special congressional hearing on the South China Sea the deployment of air assets to Australia was in addition to the doubling of US marines bound for Darwin, leaving their current base in Japan.

    Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.


    Video: Interview: Defence expert Professor Hugh White (Lateline)
    "We will be moving significant numbers of Marines to Hawaii, Guam and Australia," he said.

    "So we will have a very strong presence, very strong continued posture throughout the region to back our commitments to our allies, to protect and work with our partners and to continue ensuring peace and stability in the region.

    "As well as back our diplomacy vis-a-vis China on the South China Sea."
    The senate foreign relations committee called the hearing to address concerns about China's continued construction of artificial land masses in the South China Sea including runways.

    The US State Department said China's behaviour was having a destabilising effect on the region.

    To maintain peace do not take provocative actions: China


    China's official news agency Xinhua reported the country's ambassador to the US as saying Washington had no right whatsoever to intervene in the legitimate activities it conducted in the South China Sea, while urging related parties to resolve the disputes through diplomatic channels.

    Features of the B-1 bomber:
    • Manufactured by Boeing
    • Has the largest internal payload of any current bomber
    • Capable of rapidly delivering 84 227-kilogram bombs
    • Intended for high-speed, low-altitude penetration missions
    • Entered into service in 1986 in United States Air Force as a nuclear bomber
    • Is no longer armed with nuclear weapons, but is capable of carrying air launch cruise and short-range attack missiles
    Chinese ministry of foreign affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press conference in Beijing the country was "extremely concerned".

    "We think the United States has to issue a clarification about this. China has always upheld freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, but freedom of navigation certainly does not mean that foreign military ships and aircraft can enter another country's territorial waters or airspace at will," she said.
    "China will resolutely uphold its territorial sovereignty.

    "We demand the relevant side talk and act cautiously and not take any actions that are risky or provocative to maintain regional peace and stability."

    US secretary of state John Kerry is meeting with China's leader Xi Jinping this weekend.
    Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.

    Video: US Congressional hearing told B-1 bombers headed for Australia (ABC News)

    Committee chair Republican senator Bob Corker said the US was not doing enough to deter the Chinese and American allies were questioning Washington's credibility.

    "I think we're the ones paying the price by no-one seeing any kind of tangible activity relative to this and them actually gaining and paying no price," he said.

    Australia's force posture agreement with the US does mention "enhanced aircraft cooperation initiatives".

    The focus of that though is "visits for exercises and training".
    It does not specifically mention B-1 bombers being stationed in Australia as a deterrent to China's territorial claims or being based and operationally prepared to respond to Chinese actions in the South China Sea.

    A Pentagon spokesman told the ABC heavy-lift bomber assets had been deployed to Australia in the past, including a B52 visit last December.
    Those however, were used for a training exercise.

    Earlier, a Pentagon spokesman said "the specifics of future force posture cooperation are yet to be finalised".

    Tony Abbott confirms US has no plans to send B-1 bombers to Australia, says defence official 'misspoke' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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    Should be a nice Airport to land on...

    Not sure if there'll let the B-1's land there though.

  6. #6
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    Not sure if there'll let the B-1's land there though.
    "There'll"?

    Why not "their'll" or "they're'll"?

    When all else fails, maybe even "they'll" would work.


  7. #7
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    Why didn't the Philippines or Malaysia or Vietnam build a weather station or some other structure there a long time ago?
    China is simply doing what other countries did 200-300+ years ago to lay claim to distant islands.
    Singapore? Christmas Island? Diego Garcia? et al.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal View Post
    Why didn't the Philippines or Malaysia or Vietnam build a weather station or some other structure there a long time ago?
    China is simply doing what other countries did 200-300+ years ago to lay claim to distant islands.
    Singapore? Christmas Island? Diego Garcia? et al.
    They're laying claim to the whole of the south China sea to withing a few kilometers of other countries shorelines.
    They are cheeky kunts that's for sure.
    Last edited by Cujo; 18-05-2015 at 02:51 PM.

  9. #9
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    They've got you as well,there coded messages ain't going to hood wink me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sumocakewalk View Post
    Not sure if there'll let the B-1's land there though.
    "There'll"?

    Why not "their'll" or "they're'll"?

    When all else fails, maybe even "they'll" would work.


  10. #10
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    My taxi driver this morning was from Mogadishu.

    He says the place is rocketing ahead with development since government was established 3 years ago and the Chinese are all over the place paying for new airports and road infrastructure in return for oil drilling rights.

    They are doing the same in Pakistan building roads.

    Between this and the South China sea shenanigans the West has got to take these little slitty-eyed friggers seriously.

    Vladimir Valdimirovich is small fry compared to the menace these little punters represent.

    I was telling the GF this and she said that China tried to build island near Russia years ago and the Russians just bombed them. Never heard that story before and haven't googled it yet so don't know if it is true.

  11. #11
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    China placing mobile artillery on reclaimed island, US says

    The United States says China has placed mobile artillery weapons systems on a reclaimed island in the disputed South China Sea, a development that Republican senator John McCain has called "disturbing and escalatory".
    Brent Colburn, a Pentagon spokesman travelling with defence secretary Ash Carter, said the United States was aware of the weapons.

    Senator McCain, chairman of the Senate's armed services committee, said the move would escalate tensions but not lead to conflict.

    "It is a disturbing development and escalatory development, one which heightens our need to make the Chinese understand that their actions are in violation of international law and their actions are going to be condemned by everyone in the world," he said at a news conference in Ho Chi Minh City.

    "We are not going to have a conflict with China but we can take certain measures which will be a disincentive to China to continue these kinds of activities," he said.

    In Beijing, China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she had no information on the weapons.

    Chinese ships busy transforming outcrops into islands


    US officials said Chinese dredging work had added some 2,000 acres to five outposts in the resource-rich Spratly islands in the South China Sea, including 1,500 acres this year.

    It has released surveillance plane footage showing dredgers and other ships busily turning remote outcrops into islands with runways and harbours.
    Mr Carter called on Wednesday for an immediate halt to land reclamation in the South China Sea and was expected to touch on the issue of maritime security and freedom of navigation again in a speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue security conference in Singapore.

    China says the islands are in sovereign Chinese territory.

    A maritime power play



    The dispute over the South China Sea pits China against its smaller, weaker regional neighbours, writes South-East Asia correspondent Samantha Hawley.


    Pentagon officials said efforts by China and other claimant countries to turn reefs into islands in the Spratlys undermines international law and raises questions about their future plans and intentions.

    "It creates an air of uncertainty in a system that has been based on certainty and agreed-upon norms," said Mr Colburn, the Pentagon spokesman.

    "So anything that steps outside of the bounds of international law we see as a concern because we don't know what the ... motivations are behind that. We think it should concern everyone in the region."

    Asian military attaches and analysts said the placement of mobile artillery pieces appeared to be a symbol of intent, rather than any major development that could tilt any balance of power.

    "It is interesting and a point to watch. But it should be remembered they've already got potentially a lot more firepower on the naval ships that they routinely move through the South China Sea," one military attache said.
    China claims most of the South China Sea. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also claim parts of the vital trade route.
    All claimants except Brunei have military fortifications in the Spratlys

    Vietnam, China, Malaysia have eyes on the prize


    Explore the conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea



    Rich in resources and traversed by a quarter of global shipping, the South China Sea is the stage for several territorial disputes that threaten to escalate tensions in the region.

    At the heart of these disputes are a series of barren islands in two groups - the Spratly Islands, off the coast of the Philippines, and the Paracel Islands, off the coasts of Vietnam and China.

    South China Sea: China placing mobile artillery on reclaimed island, US says - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


    I see this as almost as provocative as Russia's actions in the Crimea. The Chinese may not be taking land from a neighbour but creating new land a stones throw from a neighbour in an attempt to lay claim to the sea is almost as incendiary.

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    What there doing is no different from what the Romans British Americans French have done to build there empires.

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    Yes but that was done centuries ago and the human race has matured a bit since then in the way we conduct international relations.

    This kind of behaviour is not really up to acceptable 21st century standards.

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    What standards are those

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    Well 200 years ago it was pretty much OK to take over and colonise other countries if you had the military might but now we respect international boundaries and they are not moved by force. Except that is basically what Russia, and now China, has been engaging in.

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    And no other countries have such agendas.?

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    I don't think so. Like who?

    I don't think there are any other G20 nations that would even consider such provocative actions.

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    So your trying to say the western alliance haven't gone into countries and fucked those countries over.?

    The Chinese are investing money into many countries, and no doubt asking for favours back,its how business runs.

    And thats what it is business.

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    Yes Chinese investment is a legitimate venture and the West had better watch that.

    But building new islands just a stones throw from your neighbours shores and then claiming the new 'land' as sovereign territory is almost as bad as taking land from your neighbours.

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    Whilst the Chinese are supposedly building in disputed waters, there is the possiblity the countries can go through the courts to establish the sovereign rights to the seas.

    Which would then not further flame the situation.

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    If the chinks are positioning missile batteries on their new 'land' then I am not sure if they would be looking at engaging in legal process to determine who the the new 'islands' belong to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal
    Singapore? Christmas Island? Diego Garcia? et al.
    Malvinas.

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    That's if they are.


    Quote Originally Posted by Looper View Post
    If the chinks are positioning missile batteries on their new 'land' then I am not sure if they would be looking at engaging in legal process to determine who the the new 'islands' belong to.

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    China to extend military reach, build lighthouses in disputed waters

    China outlined a strategy to boost its naval reach on Tuesday and held a groundbreaking ceremony for two lighthouses in disputed waters, developments likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing's maritime ambitions.

    In a policy document issued by the State Council, the Communist-ruled country's cabinet, China vowed to increase its "open seas protection", switching from air defence to both offence and defence, and criticised neighbours who take "provocative actions" on its reefs and islands.

    China has been taking an increasingly assertive posture over recent years in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, where Beijing has engaged in land reclamation in the Spratly archipelago.

    China, which claims most of the South China Sea, criticised Washington after a U.S. spy plane flew over areas near the reefs last week, with both sides accusing each other of stoking instability.

    It has overlapping claims with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei in the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year.

    Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said China's reclamation in the Spratlys was comparable with construction of homes and roads on the mainland.

    "From the perspective of sovereignty, there is absolutely no difference," he told reporters.

    RELATED COVERAGE
    › Taiwan offers South China Sea peace plan to avert 'major conflict'
    Some countries with "ulterior motives" had unfairly characterized China's military presence and sensationalized the issue, he said. Surveillance in the region was increasingly common and China would continue to take "necessary measures" to respond.

    "Some external countries are also busy meddling in South China Sea affairs. A tiny few maintain constant close-in air and sea surveillance and reconnaissance against China," the strategy paper said in a thinly veiled reference to the United States.

    OFFENCE AND DEFENCE

    It said China's air force would shift its focus from territorial air defence to both offence and defence, and building airspace defences with stronger military capabilities.

    China also hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the building of two lighthouses in the South China Sea, state media said, defying calls from the United States and the Philippines for a freeze on such activity.

    The construction was to help maritime search and rescue, disaster relief, environmental protection and navigational security, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

    The People's Liberation Army's nuclear force, known as the Second Artillery Corps, would also strengthen its capabilities for deterrence and nuclear counterattack as well as medium- and long-range precision strikes, the paper said.

    "China faces many complex maritime security threats and challenges and requires a navy that can carry out multifaceted missions and protect its sovereignty," Wang Jin, a senior colonel, told reporters.

    The paper also cited "grave threats" to China's cyber infrastructure, adding that China would hasten development of a cyber military force.

    Self-ruled Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province, called on all South China Sea claimants to shelve their disagreements to enable talks on sharing resources before a conflict breaks out.

    Japan meanwhile will join a major U.S.-Australian military exercise for the first time in a sign of growing security links between the three countries as tensions fester over China's moves.

    All three nations have said they are concerned about freedom of movement through the South China Sea and air space.
    China to extend military reach, build lighthouses in disputed waters | Reuters

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    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Hornblower
    That's if they are.
    Quote Originally Posted by Looper
    In Beijing, China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she had no information on the weapons.
    Pretty likely they would at least deny it if it were not true and they were asked about it.



    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Hornblower
    Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said China's reclamation in the Spratlys was comparable with construction of homes and roads on the mainland.
    Very far from comparable as well as being very far from the Chinese mainland.

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