What does China Plot by Sending the Missile to the Paracel Islands?
What does China Plot by Sending the Missile to the Paracel Islands?
  • By Choe Nam-suk (info@koreaittimes.com)
  • 승인 2016.02.24 17:21
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Photo on the right taken on Feb.3 when Woody Island coast was empty. Photo on the left taken on Feb.14 shows that the series of missile launchers were deployed along the coast.

Against the Demilitarization Commitment on the East Sea

On Feb.18, the New York Times reported that the Minister of Ministry of Defense of China had not confirmed or denied the missile H-9 deployment; However, the Ministry emphasized that the Air Force and Navy Departments of China has deployed forces to the Paracel Islands “for years”

However, before that, the U.S. and Taiwan had confirmed the information that China sent the surface-to-air missile to the Woody Island. According to the satellite images from the Image Sat International, the beach on the island was empty on Feb. 3, but the missiles were visible by Feb. 14. The Fox News has confirmation on the satellite photo’s accuracy from a U.S official.

According to this person, the imagery viewed appears to show the HQ-9 air defense system, which closely resembles Russia’s S-300 missile system. The HQ-9 has a range of 125 miles (~200 kilometers), which would pose a threat to any airplanes, civilians or military, flying close by. Talking to Reuters, Taiwan Military Agency’s spokesman -David Lo also confirmed that the missile system was sent to the Woody Island.

On the same day, in a press conference, the Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China -Wang Yi accused the Western media deliberately "exaggerates" the story. Not frankly admitted the missile deployment in Woody Island, but Mr. Wang said: "The deployment of the military bases is aimed at self-defense which is within the international law. This act does not cause any effects on the freedom of navigation; All the flights of all nations are able to function normally under the international law ".

The Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who also presented at the press conference during her visit to China, has urged the restraint in region and called for the peaceful disputes settlement. Ms. Bishop confirmed that Australia does not take sides in the disputes in East Sea sovereignty.

The ABC News cited a senior defense source that the deployment of the surface-to-air missile of China was a totally different matter to just simply deploy ground-to-ground weapons. In spite of the U.S.’s refrain proposal, the missile deployment confirms the militarization warning and goes against the demilitarization commitment on the East Sea of President of China Xi Jinping in the talk with the President Barack Obama during his visit to the U.S in May 9/2015.

The risk to deploy ADIZ on the East Sea

Many prestigious experts in the world said that China’s conspiracy “hidden” behind this act is to “forewarn” the U.S. In a related commentary, Professor Carl Thayer from the Australian Defense Force Academy said: “The deployment is the response to the U.S’s patrol activities in the air and on the sea near Tri Ton Island , part of Paracel Islands chain.

In addition, through this act, China wants to prove that just in a short time, it can also deploy similar systems on the Spratly Islands as against the threat from the U.S. ". Prof. Carl Thayer said that China's action poses a variety of threats to the maritime intelligence patrol activities of the U.S. over the waters close to the Paracel Islands in the future.

In addition to the opinion consistent with Professor Carl, Mr. Neil Ashdown, Deputy Editor of the HIS Jane’s Intelligence Review added: “China chose an island in the Paracel Islands to deploy HQ-9 intentionally because the Paracel Islands is closer to China mainland than the Spratly Islands ".

Some other experts are afraid that the deployment of the HQ-9 system in Woody Island after the coming fighter Shenyang J-11 in Nov 2015, China is probably having conspiracy to establish the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the future or to restrict any movements on the East Sea.

Professor James Kraska from the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law at the Naval War College said: "The act to use weapons (air defense system HQ-9) as "an implied threat" to the international territory is against the international law. Once China uses this system to execute the ADIZ or applies other restrictions to the aviation world, China has violated the international law”.


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