At least four J-10 fighter jets have been deployed on Yongxing Island in the South China Sea, a satellite image shows, which a Chinese expert said is a necessary move for the country’s national defense.

The image, released by CNN, was taken on Wednesday and represents the first time for J-10s to be seen on the island, according to Israel-based firm ImageSat International.

Fu Qianshao, a Chinese air defense expert, told the Global Times that China has the right to deploy the fighter jets wherever it wants within its territory.

“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army needs to deploy fighter jets at military airports to protect the territorial airspace and sea,” Fu said. “This is normal.”

Yongxing Island is part of the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea, where the US often sails its military ships under the guise of freedom of navigation, violating China’s sovereignty and disturbing regional peace and stability.

Peter Layton, a former Royal Australian Air Force officer and fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute, told CNN that “It could be an early training deployment as part of getting the J-10 squadron operationally ready for an ADIZ (air defense identification zone) declaration.”

The Global Times learned that China never confirmed that it may set up an ADIZ in the South China Sea, and there has been no indication of such.

“There is a massive difference between training and maintenance on land and on the islands. And China needs the jets to protect the peace and stability in the South China Sea,” Fu said.

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Source: Global Times

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al-Nakba v2.0
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al-Nakba v2.0

Territorial waters are 12 nautical miles wide, everything else is international waters. Now China has for sure the right to protect its 200NM EEZ from illegal fisheries, oil drilling etc, but not to disturb the freedom of navigation, as they have no right to occupy the Paracel islands which belong to the Philippines. If China is pissed of to see navy-vessels 12NM+ from its coasts, they can parade their own 12NM+ from the US coasts, it’s their perfect right too. Now knowing that China has territorial disputes with “just” 18 countries, and would recently have invaded Bhoutan without the prompt… Read more »