China deploys fighter jets to South China Sea
China has reportedly deployed fighter jets to Woody Island in the South China Sea, US Pacific Command spokesman Darryn James has confirmed.
James suggested that the fighters include indigenously designed JH-7 fighter-bomber and J-11 aircraft, reported the Wall Street Journal.
US Department of Defence (DoD) Pentagon spokesman commander Bill Urban was quoted by media sources as saying: "The specifics of a recent deployment of fighter aircraft to Woody Island would be less an issue than the signal it sends of how far out of step China's actions are with the aspirations of the region."
Despite the location positioned within the 200nm zone of China, Woody Island has been subject of a territorial dispute between China, Taiwan and Vietnam for years.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Government has not yet officially confirmed or denied the report.
Last week, media reports emerged about China placing weapons in disputed islands which is part of the Paracel Islands chain.
Also, China deployed a fourth-generation SAM system from the island in the South China Sea.
The satellite imagery taken on 14 February indicated that China deployed two batteries of eight missile launchers and a radar system from the island.
Previously, USS Curtis Wilbur, a US Navy guided missile destroyer navigated within 12 miles of Triton Island in the South China Sea to contest Chinese territorial claims.