INTERNATIONAL

Beijing deploys fighter jets in South China Sea

China has deployed fighter jets to the same contested island in the South China Sea to which it also has sent surface-to-air missiles, US officials said.

Citing two unnamed U.S. officials, Fox News said US intelligence services had spotted Chinese Shenyang J-11 and Xian JH-7 warplanes on Woody Island in the disputed Paracel Islands chain over the past few days.

Navy Captain Darryn James, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Command, confirmed the report but noted that Chinese fighter jets have previously used the island.

Contested island

Woody Island, which is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam, has had an operational airfield since the 1990s but it was upgraded last year. — AFP