A week after US officials confirmed that China had deployed surface to air missiles in the Paracel islands in the disputed Paracel islands, another controversial installations by Beijing was also revealed to the media. China is allegedly installing radar facilities on its artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea.
According to American think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) noted that the move of China could “significantly change” the operational landscape.
Based upon the satellite imagery of Cuarteron reef in the Spratly islands released by CSIS shows what appears to be a high-frequency radar installation, as well as a lighthouse, underground bunker, helipad and other communications equipment.
The American think tank stated that “Placement of a high frequency radar on Cuarteron Reef would significantly bolster China’s ability to monitor surface and air traffic coming north from the Malacca Straits and other strategically important channels,” said CSIS’s Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.
Images of other small reefs nearby which China has transformed into artificial islands — Gaven, Hughes, and Johnson South — revealed other features identified by CSIS as possible radar towers, gun emplacements, bunkers, helipads, and quays.