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A Chinese aircraft carrier was spotted near the Philippines. What does this mean?

On the same day, the European satellite Sentinel-1 also discovered the aircraft carrier patrolling the waters.

According to Sentinel-2, an aircraft carrier left Sanya in Hainan province, the home port of the Shandong carrier, last week.

Neither the Chinese nor the Philippine Defense Ministry commented on the image. They also did not respond to requests for comment from The Post.

The Shandong was spotted in a satellite image by Shanghai-based technology and intelligence company MizarVision sailing northwest in the South China Sea from the Philippine island of Luzon. Photo: Weibo
Ni Lexiong, a professor of defense studies at the School of Political Science at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, said the adoption of the Shandong Agreement should serve as a deterrent to Manila and Washington and “underscore China’s determination to protect its territorial maritime sovereignty” amid tensions over the second Thomas Shoal.
The People’s Liberation Army has increased exercises in the South China Sea in recent months. Last week, four naval vessels – two destroyers, a frigate and a supply ship – were sunk near the southwestern Philippine island of Palawan in South China Sea.

Chester Cabalza, president and founder of the Manila-based think tank International Development and Security Cooperation, said the aircraft carrier patrol was an example of Beijing’s “performative politics” that could become a frequent occurrence.

If that were true, “it would mean that a red flag has been raised for their national security,” he said, adding: “As soon as we see massive military power, it means Beijing is preparing for war.”

Former PLA instructor Song Zhongping said the aircraft carrier could later head for the western Pacific and rendezvous with four naval ships near the Philippine island of Palawan.

“The Shandong can go to all these places, including the waters east of Taiwan, the western Pacific and the entire South China Sea. Aircraft carriers are usually accompanied by battleships at their side to protect them, so it is normal for (the Shandong and the naval ships) to encounter each other.”


First incident between Chinese and Filipino ships under Beijing’s new coast guard law

First incident between Chinese and Filipino ships under Beijing’s new coast guard law

Tensions between China and the Philippines have escalated over the Second Thomas Reef, known as Renai Jiao in China and Ayungin Reef in the Philippines.

In June, a Chinese coast guard ship intercepted several Philippine Navy vessels on a routine mission to supply troops stationed on a dilapidated former warship on the shoal.

According to footage of the incident, Chinese coast guard crew members armed with knives, machetes and other weapons intercepted the Filipino troops, with one Filipino losing a thumb.

While there is hope for dialogue – Philippine Foreign Minister Enrique Manalo said last week that Manila is working to hold talks with Beijing in July on differences in the South China Sea – the Philippines is in the process of strengthening its relations with its treaty partner, the United States.

According to the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, the system can fire SM-6 missiles with a range of up to 370 kilometres (230 miles) as well as cruise missiles with conventional or nuclear warheads with a range of up to 2,500 kilometres.


Philippine admiral at the centre of the ‘New Deal’ saga breaks his silence on alleged agreement in the South China Sea

Philippine admiral at the centre of the ‘New Deal’ saga breaks his silence on alleged agreement in the South China Sea

Ni, from Shanghai, said the Shandong’s patrol could also be a direct response to the U.S.-led Rimpac exercise, which began Thursday.

The Rim of the Pacific exercise is the world’s largest international maritime military exercise and is taking place near Hawaii until August. One of the main focuses this year is the exercise to sink the USS Tarawa, a 40,000-ton decommissioned amphibious assault ship. China is the only US competitor in the Asia-Pacific region that has a comparable warship.

Last year, Taiwan was the focus of Shandong’s attention when the vessel conducted offshore drilling near the island in April and September.

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