China's southernmost airport ready for civil aviation

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by amoy, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Commentary: China's laudable endeavor to build safe havens for all on South China Sea
    | 2016-01-07 17:28:12
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    HAIKOU, Jan. 6, 2016 (Xinhua) -- A civilian aircraft took off from the Meilan Airport of Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, Jan. 6, 2016. China successfully carried out test fights of two civilian aircraft on Wednesday on a newly-built airfield in the Nansha Islands of the South China Sea. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)

    BEIJING, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- China's southernmost airport, built on a reef in the South China Sea, embodies the country's aspirations to significantly improve emergency-readiness in the area.

    The newly-built airfield on Yongshu Jiao, Nansha Islands, meets civil aviation standards and can accommodate large and medium-sized aircraft, as proven by the successfully landing and taking-off of an Airbus 319 and a Boeing 737 there on Wednesday.

    The huge undertaking by China to build an airfield fit for civil aviation in the middle of a vast sea deserves applause, since the engineering feat promises to bring unprecedented benefits not only to Chinese island dwellers but also to the large number of trade vessels travelling in the area.

    China's construction activities on South China Sea, which by the way are all within its sovereignty, aim to build a series of safe havens to better protect human lives and property that are often vulnerable in the rough seas.

    Harbors, navigation-supporting facilities, upgraded search and rescue services, maritime meteorological services and fishing services will be available to serve both Chinese and foreign vessels following the projects' completion.

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    Yongshu Jiao = Fiery Cross Reef
     
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  3. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Was Fiery Reef landing precursor to Chinese air defense zone in South China Sea?
    By: Greg Torode and Michael Martina, Reuters
    January 5, 2016 9:27 AM
    [​IMG]The runway at the Fiery Cross Reef in an IHS Jane's Satellite Imagery Analysis handout image. (Reuters/CNES 2015. Distribution Airbus DS/IHS:1640203/Handout)

    HONG KONG/BEIJING -- China's first landing of a plane on one of its new island runways in the South China Sea shows Beijing's facilities in the disputed region are being completed on schedule and military flights will inevitably follow, foreign officials and analysts said.

    China's increasing military presence in the disputed sea could effectively lead to a Beijing-controlled air defense zone, they said, ratcheting up tensions with other claimants and with the United States in one of the world's most volatile areas.

    Chinese foreign ministry officials confirmed on Saturday that a test flight by a civilian plane landed on an artificial island built in the Spratlys, the first time Beijing has used a runway in the area.

    Vietnam launched a formal diplomatic protest while Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said Manila was planning to do the same. Both have claims to the area that overlap with China.

    "That's the fear, that China will be able to take control of the South China Sea and it will affect the freedom of navigation and freedom of overflight," Jose told reporters.

    China has been building runways on the artificial islands for over a year, and the plane's landing was not a surprise, although it will almost certainly increase tensions.

    The runway at the Fiery Cross Reef is 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) long and is one of three China was constructing on artificial islands built up from seven reefs and atolls in the Spratlys archipelago.

    The runways would be long enough to handle long-range bombers and transport craft as well as China's best jet fighters, giving them a presence deep into the maritime heart of Southeast Asia that they have lacked until now.

    Work is well underway to complete a range of port, storage and personnel facilities on the new islands, US and regional officials have said.

    Fiery Cross is also expected to house advanced early warning radars and military communications facilities, they said.

    Chinese officials have repeatedly stressed that the new islands would be mostly for civilian use, such as coast guard activity and fishing research.

    Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at the weekend that the test flight was intended to check whether the runway met civilian aviation standards and fell "completely within China's sovereignty".

    Leszek Buszynski, a visiting fellow at the Australian National University's Strategic and Defense Studies Centre, said he believed military landings on the islands were now "inevitable."

    An air defense zone, while unlikely soon, was feasible and possible in future once China's built up its air strength.

    "The next step will be, once they've tested it with several flights, they will bring down some of their fighter air power -- SU-27s and SU-33's -- and they will station them there permanently. That's what they're likely to do."

    De facto defense zone

    Ian Storey, a South China Sea expert at Singapore's ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, said he expected tensions to worsen as China used its new facilities to project power deeper into the South China Sea.

    Even if China stopped short of formally declaring an Air Defense Identification Zone, known as an ADIZ, Beijing's need to protect its new airstrips and other facilities could see it effectively operating one.

    "As these facilities become operational, Chinese warnings to both military and civilian aircraft will become routine," Storey said.

    "These events are a precursor to an ADIZ, or an undeclared but de facto ADIZ, and one has to expect tensions to rise."

    Hua, the Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, said on Monday that there were no immediate plans for an ADIZ in the South China Sea.

    "As for whether China will establish an ADIZ, the decision will be based on our judgment of the situation and our needs," she said, adding that Beijing respected other nations' rights to international freedoms of navigation and overflight.

    China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of world trade ships every year. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have rival claims.

    The United States has no claim in the South China Sea, but has been highly critical of China's assertiveness and says it will protect freedom of navigation.

    China sparked condemnation from the United States and Japan in late 2013 when it declared an ADIZ over the East China Sea, covering uninhabited islands disputed with Tokyo.

    Chinese officials have reserved their right to do the same in the South China Sea but have said the conditions do not warrant one yet.

    However, regional military officials say they are logging increased warnings to aircraft from Chinese radio operators, including some from ground stations on Fiery Cross reef.

    http://www.interaksyon.com/article/...o-chinese-air-defense-zone-in-south-china-sea

    ~~Still waters run deep. ~~from my MiPad using tapatalk
     
  4. Ancient Indian

    Ancient Indian Unplugged Version Senior Member

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    So now you started doing what you did to Tibet.
    Illegally taking the land of some other nation.

    Shame on Chinese to plunder poor man's land.

    Then Tibet, Now SCS. All the wrong it did is, having china name in its name.
     
  5. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Spratlys - AIRSTRIPS NEAR COMPLETION

    NEW TOWERS, CONSTRUCTION ON SUBI AND MISCHIEF REEFS

    In early September 2015, AMTI released images showing that China had effectively completed construction of its first Spratly Islands airstrip on Fiery Cross Reef, was continuing work on its second at Subi Reef, and was preparing to begin work on a third at Mischief Reef. Four months later, China has not only landed three civilian test flights on Fiery Cross, but is progressing even faster than expected with its work at Subi and especially Mischief. Construction of the Fiery Cross airstrip took at least seven months from the start of grading, which was visible by February 2015. Work at Subi, where grading began in June or July, seems to be proceeding slightly quicker. And at Mischief, where grading began in September or October, construction is already approaching completion just three to four months later. Meanwhile China is rapidly building out other facilities on both Mischief and Subi.

    Developments on Mischief Reef
    Mischief Reef sits just 21 nautical miles from the BRP Sierra Madre, which was deliberately grounded by the Philippines at Second Thomas Shoal in 1999 and is home to a contingent of Philippine marines. China has maintained a constant coast guard presence around Second Thomas since 2013 and attempted to prevent resupply of the Sierra Madre in March 2014. Mischief is also about 60 nautical miles from Reed Bank, where the Philippines hopes to drill for natural case deposits over China’s objections. This strategic location combined with its size(China has reclaimed twice as much land at Mischief Reef as it did at Fiery Cross and about 50 percent more than at Subi) makes developments at Mischief of particular concern the Philippines.

    Mischief Reef as of January 8, 2016.

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    Airstrip Developments
    The work on the runway at Mischief Reef is progressing considerably faster than it had at Fiery Cross or Subi. Preparatory work had started by the start of September, but the runway itself was not visible. A fully formed and compacted sand runway could be seen by October 19, and by December 5 the runway and apron had been covered with gravel and about 500 feet of concrete. As of January 8, concrete covered most of the runway, which appears to be nearing completion.

    Other Progress on Mischief
    The entire runway at Mischief Reef as of January 8.

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    The northwest side of Mischief Reef as of January 8, including a 1,900 foot seawall and newly-constructed infrastructure including housing, an artificial turf parade grounds, cement plants, and docking facilities.

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    The artificial island at the southern end of Mischief Reef, as of January 8, showing a newly-built seawall on its north side and a completed dock.

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    Developments on Subi Reef
    Subi is at the northern end of the Spratlys, just 13 nautical miles from the main Philippine-occupied feature Thitu Island, which boasts a small civilian population. Subi is also less than 40 nautical miles from Taiwan’s only holding on Itu Aba, which is the largest natural feature in the Spratlys. Subi was the target of a much-anticipated freedom of navigation operation (which also passed near four other features not occupied by China) on October 26.

    Subi Reef as of January 8.

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    Airstrip Developments
    Construction of the airstrip at Subi Reef is nearing completion after six or seven months of work. By November 19, the base layer of sand for the runway had been compacted and channels dug for concrete guides. By December 21, a base layer of gravel had been laid down across most of the runway and some concrete strips were visible on its northern end (lower portion of photo below). As of January 8, the southern end of the runway (not pictured) had been paved with concrete as had most of the runway and apron at the northern end, while the gravel base had been completed and concrete strips were visible in the central portion.


    Other Progress on Subi
    A large freighter carrying temporary housing units passes through the channel into the Subi Reef lagoon on January 8. Dredging to deepen and widen the channel, which was ongoing in September, has been completed.

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    The main infrastructure located on the northwest side of Subi Reef, as of January 8. A seawall and docks have been constructed, and work continues on a number of hardened buildings.

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    An octagonal tower with a conical feature at its top, located on the northeast side of Subi Reef, was nearly complete as of January 8. The tower measures 40 feet on each side and 90 to 100 feet tall.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

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    must be lots of oil and gas nearby ... with a future that is more advanced on advanced energy (+ cheaper oil and gas and alternatives)

    cannot take over the taiwan but can manage such ambitions far away ... also ...

    it is fascinating how fast and with dedication this is being done at cost of other things. that signify that there are clusters with PRC that are looking for out-performance over others ... and that indicates different power centers. will this power center demand overplay and equilibrium and advancement over others!!
     
  7. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Compare Subi and Mischief to Diego Garcia

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    ~~Still waters run deep. ~~from my MiPad using tapatalk
     
  8. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

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    All consumable food and equipment are brought to Diego Garcia by sea or air, and all non-biodegradable waste is shipped off the island as well. From 1971 to 1973, United States Navy LSTs provided this service. Beginning in 1973, civilian ships were contracted to provide these services. From 2004 to 2009, the US-flagged container ship MV Baffin Strait, often referred to as the "DGAR shuttle," delivered 250 containers every month from Singapore to Diego Garcia.[134] The ship delivered more than 200,000 tons of cargo to the island each year."[134] On the return trip to Singapore, it carried recyclable metals.[135] [Seems cheap and easy to do like how India was used for the base to attack over the "hump" during world war 2]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diego_Garcia#Purchase_by_the_United_Kingdom

    (USA and Britain have a sense and sensbility and even cost and benefit approach to all things. And India knows that and lets it be for the right time ... the question of origin and source of Diego Garcia is there and also its original inhabitants)

    Better examples below:


    Guam is a U.S. island territory in Micronesia, in the Western Pacific. It's distinguished by its tropical beaches, Chamorro villages and ancient latte stones (stone pillars). Tumon Bay is a hub with bars, shops and an aquarium. Beaches include Ritidian Point, part of a wildlife refuge, and storied Two Lovers Point. Offshore are dive sites such as Apra Harbor’s sunken warships.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guam

    and others:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Samoa

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Mariana_Islands

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker_Island

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howland_Island

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jarvis_Island

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingman_Reef

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midway_Atoll

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wake_Island

    Why PRC does not make such moves like the USA is doing on to them for all of the above ?

    Is it all of the same ? Probably needs to look closer and with better thoughts.
     
  9. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Taiwan president visits disputed Taiping island in South China Sea
    Ma Ying-jeou ignores concerns from US and Philippines to board flight and ‘reaffirm sovereignity’ of isle in Spratlys.

    Thursday 28 January 2016 12.58 GMT

    Taiwan’s president has flown to a disputed island in the South China Sea to reaffirm his country’s sovereignty, saying the trip was aimed at promoting peace.

    Ma Ying-jeou’s one-day visit to Itu Aba on Thursday came amid growing international concern over rising tensions in the South China Sea, especially in the wake of Beijing’s rapid creation of seven manmade islands in the Spratly archipelago.

    Washington, Taiwan’s biggest ally, called Ma’s trip “extremely unhelpful” and said it would not do anything to resolve territorial disputes.

    Beijing is attempting to build artificial islands, while other states in the region are looking to the US to flex its military muscle on their behalf

    Ma, who steps down in May, said he had told the US about his trip a few days beforehand.

    “The US and we [Taiwan], when it comes to the big direction for the South China Sea, are the same,” Ma said. “We all hope for peace, hope there is no conflict or war.”

    On Wednesday Beijing reiterated that China and Taiwan had a common duty to protect Chinese sovereignty in the South China Sea. Beijing deems Taiwan a wayward province to be taken by force if necessary.

    Taiwan has just finished a $100m (£70m) port upgrade and built a new lighthouse on Itu Aba, known in Taiwan as Taiping. The island, which lies in the Spratlys, also has an airstrip, a hospital and fresh water.

    Both China and Taiwan claim most of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei also have competing claims.

    Vietnam’s top official in Taiwan said Hanoi “resolutely opposed” Ma’s visit. The Philippine foreign ministry said all parties had a shared responsibility to refrain from actions that could increase tensions.

    Ma said the visit was now or never. “This was the time to go,” he said. “If I didn’t go now, it would have been too late.”

    Given the tensions over the South China Sea, few senior political officials from any of the claimants have visited the contested region in recent years.

    Ma’s visit follows elections won by the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive party (DPP), which declined a request by Ma to send a representative. The DPP said Taiwan had a responsibility to maintain peace and stability in the area.

    The claims of both China and Taiwan are based on maps from the late 1940s belonging to the Nationalists when they ruled all of China. The party fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the Chinese civil war to Mao Zedong’s Communists.

    China has appeared unfazed by Taiwan’s upgrading work on Itu Aba. Military strategists say that is because Itu Aba could fall into Chinese hands should it ever take over Taiwan.

    The 46-hectare (114-acre) island supports around 180 people, about 150 of them coastguard personnel.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/28/taiwan-president-ma-ying-jeou-visit-south-china-sea-

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  10. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sorry i could not resist. Apologies but sometimes the castle in the sky can appear like a dream only !!

    "Both China and Taiwan claim most of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei also have competing claims."

    "China has appeared unfazed by Taiwan’s upgrading work on Itu Aba. Military strategists say that is because Itu Aba could fall into Chinese hands should it ever take over Taiwan."

    What is the difference to China and Taiwan ? Are we saying there is different claims for China and Taiwan ? Does Taiwan make claim on what is doing above for by China !!

    Sorry i could not resist and apologies no harm intended. Whenever there is one step ahead there is too much dreaming and it is all being done with people laughing at the serious faces.
     
  11. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Area that Taiwan claims is even larger than China.
    And yes, Taiwan does claim everything hold by Chinese.
     
  12. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

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    Is the enhanced also more legitimacy of the PRC claim because of the location of Taiwan ...

    Is PRC doing this because it is something that is in common with Taiwan ...

    What happen if Taiwan makes and does different negotiations and tactics ...

    What happens to the One China principle for all of the above since there is different claims (some large and small like you said)
     
  13. Nuvneet Kundu

    Nuvneet Kundu Senior Member Senior Member

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    We need to evaluate whether China's adventure in the SCS is actually harmful to India? It is a military base where they will place all sorts of cutting edge surveillance instruments and weaponry to make sure US influence from the ASEAN region gets eroded. This is in our interest. We should pretend to be offended at China's actions but let them capture SCS and use it as a base to dominate Philippines, which has been a hub of anti-India activities since eternity. The more control US loses in ASEAN, the more important India becomes for them. The more important India becomes, the more leverage we have to seek concessions on Pakistan issue. An assertive China putting pressure on the US is beneficial for India.
     
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  14. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    Isn't the US already (trying) realigning itself towards India, for various reasons?

    Also I don't think america's major concern is china, i think it is russia.
    Americ is currently at war with russia on at least two visible front's: syria and ukraine and an invisible front inside russia which is being countered by FSB et al; while in china's all the US does is show. Send a ship here and there, once in a while and the chinese will do a customary protest. :)
     
  15. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  16. Nuvneet Kundu

    Nuvneet Kundu Senior Member Senior Member

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    All of today's and future wars are going to be economic wars, in that sense, given China's economic might, it becomes a bigger threat than Russia. Russia might be a fortress but they have little economic might to hurt American financial interest. China is gobbling up American businesses everywhere. Australia is almost gone. China has so much influence over Australia that they were made to sign a pact that they would not join any military coalition that will act against Taiwan or Sough china sea. This is why Australia pulled out of our Malabar exercise. It is these magic tricks that Russia can't pull off.

    China has almost colonized 40% of Africa with their economic activities. They are mining for resources, they are setting up industries, they are pumping money to local politicians and buying them out en masse. Russia can't even reach there. It's China that threatens US hegemony because it is making strategic links all over the world while Russia is boxed in.
     
  17. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    But if you read my post, I didn't say China isn't a credible competitor to america but that america doesn't seem to be thinking so and it doesn't seem to be doing much about china's growth in SCS or in AFR.
    Is it?
     
  18. Bahamut

    Bahamut Senior Member Senior Member

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    We should also upgrade are infrastructure in A&N island and also build some artificial island in Indian ocean region to safe our trade routes .A lot import and export is done by sea and we should have control on it .
     
  19. Nuvneet Kundu

    Nuvneet Kundu Senior Member Senior Member

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    America isn't doing much? It swallowed its pride and shook hands with India at the expense of its other ally Pakistan, in the name of Asia pivot. The US views India as a big threat and if they are willing to share their weapons with us then they must be seeing China as a bigger threat. You aren't tracking the news well, every now and then American strategic observers are crying "China, China,China,China,China," in their news studios. China stealing jobs, China building aircraft carrier, China doing currency manipulation, China colonizing Africa, China this China that.







     
  20. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    Nuvneet, I do hear all that china this china that.

    But as I metaphorically meant (sending a couple of ships ) in my earlier post, are they (US) actually doing anything of much significance, other than shouting?
    For eg: With russia usa is fighting 2 wars, missile shield gonna come up in EEUR, military drills and power shows in baltic countries mere metres from russian border, brigade formations setup in EEUR, viulent anti-rus and pro-nato propaganda in EUR (contrasting with JPN and SKOR.)
    Correct me if im wrong but other than show off, i dont think usa is actually doing (not saying) much about china.
    PS: Can't watch the videos now.
     
  21. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    I don't think islands can be built in the middle of the ocean, perhaps oil rigs.
    I think in china's case existing islands/collections of stones are being made bigger.
     
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