China suspected to have deployed more weapons on Woody island

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
totalITemsFound:
maxPaginationLinks: 10
maxPossiblePages:
startIndex:
endIndex:

Woody Island serves as China's blueprint for future military developments in other Chinese-occupied South China Sea islands, including the Spratlys.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 26) — More weapons systems could have been been installed in disputed waters in the South China Sea, an Washington-based think tank reported.  

Satellite imagery published on May 24 by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) showed China has deployed more weapon systems on Woody Island in the Paracels Island Group on May 12.  

The think tank said these weapons could have been used during the military exercises conducted by China in the South China Sea on May 9.  

But since the weapon systems have reportedly not been removed from the island as of May 20, the AMTI expects them to stay on the island permanently.  

The group could not, however, confirm the specifics of these weapons systems. 

"Since they are covered, it is difficult to definitively identify the new platforms, but they likely include truck-mounted surface-to-air or anti-ship cruise missiles and accompanying radars," the AMTI said. 

It counted 20 new vehicles on the islands northern beach, which may include missile systems and a radar truck.

On the east side of the island, the AMTI counted two trucks and four covered vehicles.  

J-11 combat aircrafts, built for air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, were also spotted on the island. 

"J-11s have been deployed to Woody Island on several occasions in the past, including as recently as October 2017," the AMTI said. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs has yet to confirm the report.   

While the Philippines does not have any claim on the Woody Island, it serves as China's blueprint for future military developments in other Chinese-occupied South China Sea islands, including the Spratlys.  

China, Taiwan and Vietnam have overlapping claims on the disputed area. 

On May 19, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported the People's Liberation Army Air Force sent a group of bombers to conduct drills in its "southern waters."  

The AMTI said the Chinese bombers landed on Woody Island.