While The World’s Attention Is On North Korea, China Quietly Places Rocket Launchers On Spratly Islands

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9:46 pm 17 May, 2017

Ever since China started constructing an artificial island near the Spratly Island chain in South China Sea, the world became alarmed to a possible militarization of the region.

Though Beijing initially claimed that the island will not be used for military purposes, it deployed “defensive” military equipment last year as soon as the construction was complete.

 

The disputed territories in the South China Sea. Wikipedia Commons

Now, reports reveal that China has also installed rocket launchers on the disputed chain of islands. The reason? To counter Vietnamese military combat divers.

Defence Times, a state-run newspaper, reported that Beijing has deployed the Norinco CS/AR-1 55mm anti-frogman rocket launcher defense systems on the Fiery Cross Reef of the islands.

 

IHS/Kelvin Wong

China has clearly stated that it will do whatever it wants to on the island it has constructed and the entire disputed territory.

The Spratlys, which lie in one of the world’s most significant maritime trade routes, are claimed by neighboring South China Sea countries Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Taiwan.


Beijing has been so bellicose about its claim on the disputed islands that it simply ignored a ruling on South China Sea which went against it at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague.

So by deploying more weapons on the artificial island it constructed, China has just send a message to the world that it is ready to go to war to claim the entire disputed region.

 

The Chinese Navy is increasingly becoming one of the most powerful navies in the world. YouTube

China has previously stated its intention of declaring the region an exclusive Chinese Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ).

To ensure that, Beijing will have to deploy more military equipment on the artificial island and other islands in the vicinity.

 

A satellite photo shows the artificial island China constructed on a reef in the disputed region. ASIA MARITIME TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE

An airport on the artificial island makes it possible for Chinese fighter jets to land in the region and ensure an ADIZ.

And while China has its focus in its own expansionist plans across the world, the attention of the West is on boogeyman North Korea.

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