07:27 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still file image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy

    China Conducts More Test Flights at New Airfield in South China Sea

    © REUTERS / U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters
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    China has conducted several successful test flights at a newly-built airfield in the South China Sea on Wednesday.

    Two civilian aircraft took off from the Meilan Airport of Haikou, capital of Hainan Province and landed at the airfield on Yongshu Jiao in the Nansha Islands. They flew back to Haikou on Wednesday afternoon.

    “China's testing of a newly-built airfield is nothing more than an effort by the country to better serve the needs of the great many vessels and seafarers using one of the world's busiest shipping lanes,” Wang Haiqing wrote for an article in Xinhua.

    The Chinese government has stated that the runway would conform to civil aviation standards and other improved facilities intended at facilitating search and rescue, disaster prevention and reduction and navigation safety.

    It will by no means undermine the peace and stability of the region. Instead, it will greatly enhance the safety of the vessels on the vast South China Sea by “facilitating search and rescue, disaster prevention and reduction, and research and conservation from a Chinese land base.”

    As noted by the Chinese media the airfield shouldn't be a cause for concern for anybody especially as there has never been any problem regarding freedom of navigation and over-flight in the South China Sea and all countries are authorized to do so under international law.

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    Tags:
    test flight, navigation, airfield, civil aviation, Xinhua News Agency, South China Sea, China
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