China puts weapons on its new artificial islands

by John Garnaut, David Wroe  |  published on May 28, 2015


China has moved weaponry onto artificial islands that it is building in contested areas of the South China Sea, adding to the risks of a confrontation with the United States and its regional security partners including Australia.

Australian officials are concerned that China could also introduce long-range radar, anti-aircraft guns and regular surveillance flights that will enable it to project military power across a maritime expanse which include some of Australia’s busiest trading lanes.

Fairfax understands that these concerns are prompting discussions in senior military circles that could lead to Australian naval officers and air force pilots embarking on “freedom of navigation” missions to demonstrate that Canberra does not accept Beijing’s hardening claims.

The options, which include fly-throughs, sail-throughs and exercises involving various regional partners, are expected to crystallise after officials deliver a personal briefing to Prime Minister Tony Abbott during the next fortnight.

  • Tony Pacheco

    Do remember Bill Clinton “giving” China technology for missiles navigational control for civilian purposes? Since when the Clintons give anything for nothing? Foundation Donation maybe? Bribes anyone? Kickbacks? This Our own defense Technology we’re talking about. Treasonous Maybe?

  • John VanderKelen

    I am missing how large the South China Sea area being contested is and how it fits into the national security of the United States.

    • Interesting. And how does ISIS taking territory in Syria fit into the national security of the United States?

  • ADRoberts

    Do you get it. China has seen the cowardice of Obama. They are sure that he will declare a few more RED LINES. And they can become aggressors a the biggest bullies. Just like Stalin and Hitler.

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