Tensions Soar in the China Sea

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

China continues to grow more aggressive in exerting their controversial territorial claims at sea as well as in their air. On Tuesday of this week, a Vietnamese fishing boat capsized and sank after being rammed by a Chinese vessel not far from the where China has placed a massive offshore drilling platform within Vietnamese territorial waters in the S. China Sea. Government officials in Hanoi claim the vessel was surrounded by approximately 40 Chinese fishing boats before one of them began ramming it.

Both Vietnam and China claim absolute sovereignty over the waters which encompass the Paracel and Spratly Island archipelagos, beneath which massive oil and gas deposits have been discovered.

Late this week the United States warned China after a dangerous provocation involving Japanese aircraft over disputed waters in the East China Sea. According to the Japanese Ministry of Defense, two Japanese military patrol and surveillance aircraft were, for the first time ever, intercepted by two armed Su-27 Flankers from the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. The Chinese fighters are reported to have flown within 100 feet of the Japanese aircraft which were said to be in the area monitoring Russian and Chinese naval exercises reported on in last week’s issue of Threat Journal.

Not to be left out, S. Korea also expressed outrage over the joint Russian / Chinese war games as they took place in disputed waters to which they lay claim.

Further raising tensions in the region, Chinese state controlled media this week released images of three Chinese nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines now deployed to Yalong Bay naval base on Hainan Island in the South China Sea.

chinjin

The Jin-class submarines are equipped with 12 multiple-warhead JL-2 submarine launched ballistic missiles. A report published last year by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center stated that the JL-2 missile will, for the first time, allow Chinese submarines to target portions of the United States from operating areas located near the Chinese coast.”

Additionally, readers may recall that last year, Chinese media published a report that revealed a nuclear missile strike on the western United States with JL-2 missiles could kill up to 12 million Americans. The Chinese government even published a strike map showing what cities would be hit as well as the potential spread of fallout.

As always, AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor developments in this increasingly tense region and will immediately notify service subscribers of changes in the overall threat environment as events warrant.