South China Sea War: China Deploys H-6 Bombers, Su-30 Jets Around Spratlys & Scarborough Shoal
Nearly a month after the UN-backed tribunal in The Hague issued the July 12 ruling that changed the playing field in the South China Sea maritime dispute, China has sent fighter jets to patrol the sea.Advertisement
According to an article from state-run news website Xinhua, as reported byBusiness Insider, China recently announced that it’s sending advanced fighter jets to patrol over the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal, shallow islands that have been the subject of dispute among claimant nations in the region.
In a recent ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), China’s claim over the vast maritime zone was virtually declared inconsistent with international laws, especially the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Su-30 fighter jets
Included in the fleet of warplanes are several H-6 bombers and Russian-made Su-30 fighter jets. The report noted that the fleet’s main mission is to patrol and inspect the contested maritime zone.
“The Air Force is organizing normalized South China Sea combat patrols, practicing tactics … increasing response capabilities to all kinds of security threats and safeguarding national sovereignty, security and maritime interests,” Senior Colonel Shen Jinke of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy for the first time has sailed the South China Sea, particularly in Qingdao, on Monday. But instead of holding joint naval exercises with its traditional allies, the U.S. is holding joint naval drills with China.
The USS Benfold docked at Qingdao port, North of China. It was also the first time an American navy ship docked at the same port and held joint naval drills, the New York Times reported.