Bomber Xian H-6K Lands on South China Sea Island

Bomber Xian H-6K Lands on South China Sea Island. The Chinese air force landed long-range bombers for the first time at an airport in the South China Sea, a state-run newspaper said on Saturday in a move that could further fuel concerns over Beijing's expansive claims over the disputed region.

The China Daily reported that the Air Force of the People's Liberation Army conducted a take-off and landing training with the H-6K bomber in the South China Sea.

China faces smaller neighbors in multiple disputes in the South China Sea over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial to world trade and rich in fish and potential oil and gas reserves.

xian h-6k turning on runway

Bomber Xian H-6K Lands on South China Sea Island, pic: Xian H-6K Bomber Aircraft

A statement from the Ministry of Defense said Friday night that the exercise was carried out on a reef on the island, but did not specify when or where, saying it was recently carried out in a "southern sea area." It involved the takeoff of several H-6K. from an air base and then conducting a simulated attack against marine targets before landing, the ministry said.

Wang Mingliang, a military expert, was quoted in the statement as saying that the takeoff and landing exercises will help the air force improve its "real combat capability against all kinds of threats to maritime safety."

The Washington-based Maritime Transparency Initiative, based in Washington, using messages from Chinese social networks, identified the location of the exercise as Woody Island, China's largest base on the Paracel Islands.

With a combat radius of almost 1,900 nautical miles (3,520 kilometers), the H-6K bomber would put all of Southeast Asia in its Woody Island range, AMTI said.

Further south, in the Spratly group of islands, China has built seven artificial islands and equipped them with airstrips, suspensions, radars and missile stations, further consolidating their vast territorial claims on the troubled waterway.

I know. UU And others accuse Beijing of militarizing the region to reinforce its claims. Admiral Phil Davidson, the new head of the Pacific Command, said recently that China had reached the turning point in its control over the South China Sea.

The bases of the South China Sea can be used to challenge the presence of the USA. UU In the region, and any force deployed on the islands would easily surpass the military forces of any other claimant from the South China Sea, "Davidson wrote in a recent testimony before Congress.