US intel: China to put missiles on S China Sea man-made islands to guard airstrips

By Lucas Tomlinson •Published December 24, 2016 •

EXCLUSIVE: The U.S. intelligence community thinks the “hundreds” of surface-to-air missiles that China recently shipped to its Hainan Island in the South China Sea will be moved to the country’s nearby and disputed man-made islands in the coming months, two military officials told Fox News on Saturday.

The plan follows what U.S. intelligence officials say is Beijing’s expressed desire to protect its three airstrips on three of the man-made islands.

The missiles now on Hainan island, China’s largest in the South China Sea, are a combination of short- medium- and long-range weapons. And they include one battalion of the advanced SA-21 system, a long-range missle system that is based on fourth-generation Russian software and capable of knocking out aircraft from as far away as 250 miles.

The total number of surface-to-air missiles on Hainan could reach 500, one of the military officials told Fox News.

China shipping more surface-to-air missiles from the mainland to the South China Sea was first reported Friday by Fox News.

The new missiles have been seen by American intelligence satellites on China’s provincial island province of Hainan, which is not part the disputed islands.

Officials think the location is “only temporary” and likely a training site before the missiles are deployed in early 2017 to the contested Spratley Islands or Woody Island.

The two missile systems seen on Hainan island are known as the CSA-6b and HQ-9. The CSA-6b is a combined close-in missile system with a range of 10 miles and also contains anti-aircraft guns. The longer-range HQ-9 system has a range of 125 miles, and is roughly based on the Russian S-300 system.

This latest deployment of Chinese military equipment comes days after the Chinese returned an unclassified underwater research drone in the South China Sea. The Pentagon accused a Chinese Navy ship of stealing the drone, over the objections of the American crew operating it in international waters to collect oceanographic data.

The escalation comes weeks after President elect-Donald Trump received a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan’s president breaking decades-long “one-China” protocol and angering Beijing.

China has deployed surface-to-air missiles to Woody Island in the South China Sea before, as Fox News first reported in February.

It has yet to deploy missiles to its seven man-made islands in the Spratly chain of islands. Weeks ago, civilian satellite imagery obtained by a Washington, D.C., based think-tank showed gun emplacement on all the disputed islands, but not missiles.

Earlier this month, Fox News first reported China getting ready to deploy another missile defense system from a port in southeast China. China also flew a long-range bomber around the South China Sea for the first time since March 2015 and days after Mr. Trump’s phone call with his Taiwan counterpart.

Days before President Trump’s call, a pair of long-range H-6K bombers flew around the island of Taiwan for the first time.

Beijing has long expressed interest in fortifying its seven man-made islands in the South China Sea.

Last year, China’s President Xi Jinping pledged not to “militarize” the islands, in the Rose Garden at the White House.

“This another example of the adventurous and aggressiveness of the Chinese in the face of an anemic and feckless set of policies that we’ve seen over the last eight years,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, former head of Air Force intelligence, in an interview with Fox News.

This month, U.S. intelligence satellites also spotted components for the Chinese version of the SA-21 system at the port of Jieyang, in southeast China, where officials say China has made similar military shipments in the past to its islands in the South China Sea.

The Chinese SA-21 system is a more capable missile system than the HQ-9.

Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel. You can follow him on Twitter: @LucasFoxNews

Source: “US intel: China to put missiles on S China Sea man-made islands to guard airstrips”

Note: This is’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


15 Comments on “US intel: China to put missiles on S China Sea man-made islands to guard airstrips”

  1. Mad Max says:

    So Beijing places some missiles on its revlaimed islands? What anout the Amerikans with theur missiles n nucear bombs n warheads on their 400 installations surrounding East Asia?

    The Amerikan government and its propagandist mouthpieces and professional slanderters are so

    The Nazi German Empire and the Imperial Japanese Empire were defeated by the Russians but in its places rises a rascally empire called the U.S. to take their place.

    Amerika is not a shining beacon of light. It cannot and should not be allowed to lead. It must be deposed. Its immoral behaviour has lost it its right to lead. Besides its bankrupt and rigging its currency value big time when it has no value and the country is insolvent. It should be having runaway inflation of a thousand percentage or times more than what it is at the moment.

    It is fighting to preserve a lie. That of a bankrupt insolvent country. Babylon must fall.


  2. Steve says:

    China ‘s air bomber patrols (fully armed) and warship navigation of the the SCS is a powerful deterrent against US infringement. As for the engineered islands, it’s only limited in size and positioning of weaponry is not a rush hour job, in fact it’s not the most important decision. The military infrastructures including radar installation, underwater detection, naval ports & docks, coastguard & research facilities, air strips, housing, equipment, etc needs to be structured first and foremost. Soldiers are already patrolling their duties.

    No idiot would be crazy enough to capture the fortified islands. The only possibility would be bombardment of the islands and I don’t think the US are complete idiots, even when President Duterte claim that 3 out of every 5 Americans are idiots. And if his prediction is correct, I have to say that Professor Navarro is one of the 5. Never can tell, this old head (Trump) may have a stable of frustrated idiots wanting to wage war, but with what.? I suppose the 7,000 nuclear warheads maybe his next best bargaining chip besides Taiwan.


  3. Fre Okin says:

    With Trump aggressive posture against China, it is a no brainer to see the Chinese need to defend their artificial islands from US aggression.

    China think US FON is a pretext to start a war to snuff out Chinese islands and it is better to put defensive missiles there before Trump’s inauguration on Jan 20th 2017 or just immediately after that. Trump wouldn’t dare to start a war in the first months of his presidency. He have other priorities.

    Speeding up deployment on the islands is actually good as this will discourage US from miscalculation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sam says:

      The navies of Japan and America only need to increase patrols of the seas surrounding these man made islands to intimidate the Chinese navy.


      • Joseph says:

        Correct. The more America and Japan intimidate China, the more China put weapons there. Before long, it will be a giant floating base where America could only ‘intimidate’ from afar. That’s if the America and Japan still have any ships left in their navies.