The Chinese regime has moved armaments to its man-made islands in the South China Sea, as tensions with neighboring countries and the United States intensify.
The exact type of weapons deployed were not specified in an exclusive report from Australian news agency The Sydney Morning Herald. It states, however, that Australian officials are worried the China will follow up by deploying long-range radar and anti-aircraft batteries.
In the Chinese Communist Party’s newly-released military strategy, it shifted the air-defense policy of its air force to allow for offensive actions.
The Australian report states that discussions around the weapons deployments “are prompting discussions in senior military circles” that may lead Australia to begin sending its air force to the South China Sea for “freedom of navigation” missions “to demonstrate that Canberra does not accept Beijing’s hardening claims.”
Missions could include fly-throughs, sail-throughs, and similar exercises alongside the forces of other nations.
The discussions in Australia follow a new policy from the United States to directly challenge the Chinese regime’s land-grab in the South China Sea.
The Chinese regime is building artificial islands in the waters close to 1,300 miles from the Chinese mainland. While it has not officially declared a defensive region around the islands, its military has been warning other nations when they pass through.
On May 20, the U.S. military released audio and video of the types of threats the Chinese regime sends. It flew a P8-A Poseidon surveillance aircraft over one of the Chinese man-made islands. A Chinese voice over the radio gives eight warnings, including “You are approaching our military alert zone,” “Leave immediately!,” and “You go!”
The United States made its intentions for the flyover clear. It is to maintain freedom of navigation, and to make clear that the Chinese regime’s construction of new territory in international waters will not be recognized as a legitimate claim to sovereignty over the region.
After the U.S. flyover, the Philippines stated that they too would begin flying military planes over the region. Australia may now follow suit.