CHINA DEPLOYS FIGHTER JETS TO CONTESTED SOUTH CHINA SEA ISLAND – REPORTS

MOSCOW — China has deployed fighter jets to a contested island in the South China Sea amid territorial tensions in the region, media reported.

According to the Fox news television channel’s Tuesday report, US intelligence spotted China’s Shenyang J-11 and Xian JH-7s aircraft (NATO reporting names Flanker B+ and Flounder, respectively) on Woody Island in the past few days.

Beijing had previously deployed two batteries of HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles on the same island, the media outlet said.

In recent weeks, the United States and Taiwan have warned that China has deployed surface-to-air missiles on Woody Island in the Parcel chain in the South China Sea. The deployment marked the latest step in China’s military buildup in the Parcel and Spratly archipelagos, where at least six nations have overlapping territorial claims.

China, however, argues that both archipelagos are its sovereign territory, a claim that Washington has aggressively challenged by conducting so-called freedom of navigation exercises in which US warships deliberately pass within 12 miles of Chinese held islands. PNA/Sputnik/northboundasia.com