Beijing has stationed eight warplanes on a strategic disputed island in the South China Sea, escalating tensions over territorial claims.
Satellite images from July 15 showed at least four aircraft on Woody Island in the Paracels chain, believed to be J-11B air superiority fighters. More pictures the following day showed them in a different area of the island along with four other aircraft, thought to be JH-7 anti-ship fighter-bombers, according to Radio Free Asia, a broadcast service backed by the US government.
It follows war games by both the Chinese and US forces in the area. The US manoeuvres involved two nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, USS Nimitz and the USS Ronald Reagan, while China fired more than 3000 missiles at moving targets in a live-fire exercise.