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West PH Sea: Chinese jamming equipment installed on Spratlys – Report

  • China has reportedly deployed jamming equipment to Spratlys
  • Two of which were installed on Kagitingan Reef and Panganiban Reef
  • This was confirmed by a US defense official to the Wall Street Journal

MANILA, Philippines  –  China has reportedly installed equipment capable of jamming communications and radar systems to the Spratly Group of islands, particularly on two reefs being contested by several countries including China and the Philippines.

The Wall Street Journal in an article dated April 9 said a United States defense official confirmed these recent development in the West Philippines Sea, just months after it has been reported by Inquirer that China has nearly completed militarization of several island-features in the disputed territory.

“China has deployed military jamming equipment to its Spratly Island outposts,” the US official told WSJ.

This development is reportedly supported by a photo taken last month by the commercial satellite company DigitalGlobe, a copy of which was provided to WSJ.

The photo showed the jamming equipment with antenna extended towards the Mischief Reef (Panganiban Reef), a feature located around 250 kilometers west of Palawan.

The US official added, citing US intelligence report, that the new jamming equipment could have been deployed to Mischief Reef and Fiery Cross Reef (Kagitingan Reef) over the past 90 days.

“While China has maintained that the construction of the islands is to ensure safety at sea, navigation assistance, search and rescue, fisheries protection and other nonmilitary functions, electronic-jamming equipment is only for military use,” said the official.

China has yet to respond to the request for comment, WSJ noted.