Though defensive in nature, Chinese weapons installed in fake islands in West Philippine Sea, especially weapons installed in Panganiban (Mischief) Reef and Zamora (Subi) Reef, can pose direct threat to Philippine aircraft doing patrol or resupply mission in Philippine-held islands in Kalayaan (Spratly) Island Group.
“Yung ipinakita ng AMTI, ito po ay tinatawag na closed in weapon system — anti-aircraft as well as anti-missile. Pang malapitan lang po ito. By themselves, they are not offensive weapons. Hindi po sila pang atake,” former Magdalo Party-list representative Francisco Ashley Acedillo said on DZMM.
However, the former lawmaker said Panganiban and Zamora reefs are close to islands occupied by Philippines. “Every time na nagpapadala tayo ng air supply mission para po bigyan ng supply ang ating tropa doon, palagi silang niraradyohan. ‘You are flying over Chinese territory’. Ang problema, next time na mag raradyo sila may nakakabit na panakot yan,” he said.
“Kayang-kaya ho nilang pabagsakin yung ating mga eroplano,” former Congressman Acedillo said.
Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) said on December 13, showing November satellite imagery, that China has installed anti-aircraft guns and possibly close-in weapons systems (CIWS) in its fake islands in West Philippine Sea.
“China has built nearly identical (hexagonal) headquarters buildings at each of its four smaller artificial islands,” AMTI said. “This model has gone through another evolution at China’s much-larger bases on Fiery Cross, Subi, and Mischief Reefs.”
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