Lorenzana: Chinese jamming equipment in Spratlys info needs confirmation
The Philippine government could not corroborate reports on the presence of suspected military jamming equipment in China’s artificial bases in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea as they have not received such information on their end, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday.
“None has been confirmed by us…We will confirm using our resources if there really are jammers and if so what kind: to disrupt communications or disrupt weapons systems,” he told reporters.
A satellite photo released by the Wall Street Journal early this week showed suspected communications and radar jamming equipment on Mischief Reef, the largest of China’s seven outposts. The reef is located within the 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.
Quoting the US Department of Defense, the Wall Street Journal report said the jamming equipment were deployed in the past 90 days in Fiery Cross and Mischief Reefs. It was a move seen to enforce China’s claims and a step further in its militarization of the South China Sea, the report said.
“All reports have been coming from the US and we have not received any formal communications to that effect,” Lorenzana said.
He also noted that there were no reported incidents of jamming on the Philippine side.
Lorenzana said he suspects that the jamming signals were picked up by US Navy ships.
“Ang suspetsa ko nasagap ng mga US Navy ships yung jamming signals. Ano ang purpose ng jammers ng China? Kasi alam nilang armado mga US Navy ships,” he said.
“Yung jammers kasi ay madaling ikabit yan. Merong maliit na para sa sasakyan pang jam ng communications. Yung mga mas sophisticated like for weapons systems mas malaki nasa mga building at barko. Pwedeng buksan o patayin depende sa mission. Kahit may sensor ka di mo malalaman kung hindi naka on,” he said.
He also said that they can’t stop China from doing what they want on their bases, such as deploying assets with jamming capabilities.
“Mapipigilan ba natin ang China na maglagay ng jammers sa reclaimed islands nila? Hindi nga natin sila napigilan noong mag umpisa silang mag reclaim,” he said. /muf
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