Think-tank identifies 15 Chinese ships in reclaimed features at West Philippine Sea
The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) identified 15 Chinese ships that were observed in the reclaimed features in West Philippine Sea.
In an article published its website Wednesday, the think-tank identified the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and the China Coast Guard ship classes that were regularly deployed in the area of what they called as “Big Three outpost” in Spratlys which includes Mischief Reef, Subi Reef and Fiery Cross Reef.
“The Big Three host both air and naval bases, and they support an ever-growing People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), China Coast Guard (CCG), and fishing fleet presence across the southern portion of the South China Sea,” it noted.
The AMTI said the People’s Liberation Army Navy vessels are the Luhai Destroyer, Dongdiao Agi, Jiangkai I Frigate, Hai Yang Agi. Jiangdao Corvette, Jianghu-I Frigate, Yuting II Landing Ship Tank and Yunshu Landing Ship Medium.
The China Coast Guard vessels were Shuoshi II Class, Shucha II Class, Zhaoyu Class, Zhaotim Class, Tuzhong Class, Zhongyang Class and Jianghu I Class.
"Alongside the combatant and law enforcement vessels, an array of support ships, including tankers, tugboats, and replenishment vessels, as well as a Type 639 oceanographic surveillance ship have been seen," it stated.
According to AMTI, the identified vessels were monitored in Spratlys since previous year.
“AMTI has identified as many PLAN and CCG vessels as possible in imagery taken since January 2017, and has selected representative images of each vessel class,” the article stated.
“Satellite images show that PLAN destroyers, frigates, and other combat ships and CCG patrol vessels regularly visit the artificial islands, along with many auxiliary and logistics vessels,” it noted
“The ubiquity of PLAN and CCG ships in images of Fiery Cross, Mischief, and Subi Reefs since the start of 2017 suggests how robust the PLAN and CCG presence at the island bases has become,” it added. Robina Asido/DMS