A new set of satellite images from an island in the South China Sea have revealed that the Chinese military is installing a new missile system at a base located on the island.
The satellite images have shown that the People’s Liberation Army has been fortifying a naval base on Hainan Island. The images showed “recent changes in the layout” that point toward “preparations for new land-based missile installations.”
“The direction in which the launchers are facing leads us to believe these are shore-to-ship missiles,” analyst Amit Gur said.
Gur had “said that similar systems had shown up in satellite data about two years ago, but had been removed in recent months to accommodate infrastructure upgrades at the site.”
“They must have concluded renovation work, as the systems are clearly visible,” Gur added. “We just don’t know if they are new systems, or a (redeployment) of the ones that were stored during the renovation.”
Conservative Tribune reports:
On the eastern side of the island, the photos from the commercial firm ImageSat International show even more development.
“We’re seeing the building of infrastructure that wasn’t there before and what looks like preparations for shore-to-ship missiles, just like on the western side,” company spokesman Gil Or told Defense News.
The Trump administration has been trying to crack down on China’s military expansion into the South China Sea, an action which went mostly unchecked under the Obama administration.
Part of this has been due to China’s recent attempts to expand its borders via man-made islands in the same sea where Hainan is located. However, the situation has been made tougher both by the advanced state of development on the islands and the Trump administration’s need for China’s cooperation on North Korea.
Do you think the United States should be worried about this, or are the Chinese simply preparing for a potential conflict with their lapdog North Korea?
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