Bei­jing

The Week (US) - - News 9 -

Arm­ing is­lands: China has in­stalled equip­ment on its for­ti­fied out­posts in a dis­puted stretch of the South China Sea ca­pa­ble of jam­ming U.S. com­mu­ni­ca­tions and radar sys­tems, U.S. of­fi­cials said this week. The jam­mers were placed on ar­ti­fi­cial is­lands that China has built in the Spratly archipelago to bol­ster its ter­ri­to­rial claims in the re­gion, home to some of the world’s busiest ship­ping routes. China is hold­ing its largest-ever mil­i­tary ex­er­cise in the South China Sea this week, with more than 40 ships, in­clud­ing Bei­jing’s only air­craft car­rier, on ma­neu­vers. The U.S. has coun­tered by send­ing the air­craft car­rier USS Theodore Roo­sevelt to the re­gion and invit­ing Philip­pine gen­er­als to watch fighter jets tak­ing off and land­ing. “It’s a show­case of the ca­pa­bil­ity of the U.S. armed forces,” said Philip­pine Lt. Gen. Rolando Bautista, “not only by sea but also by air.”

A for­ti­fied ar­ti­fi­cial is­land

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