Chinese satellite ground stations installed on disputed South China Sea reefs
Operations began on Friday to ‘solve the problem of a blind spot’ in waters around the Paracel Islands, according to state televisionThe two stations, located on North Reef and Bombay Reef, are connected to the land-based identification and tracking system for shipsSouth China SeaLiu ZhenPublished: 12:00pm, 20 Sep, 2023Why you can trust SCMP
The stations, connected to China’s land-based ship automatic identification system (AIS), are installed at lighthouses located on North Reef and Bombay Reef in the Paracel Islands, which are also claimed by Vietnam and Taipei.
They use the BeiDou satellite network – completed in 2020 as a rival to the US global positioning system (GPS) – to locate the vessels and transmit signals, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Tuesday.
China’s maritime administration requires all ships to have an AIS transponder and to keep the signal on at all times within its jurisdiction, so that the authorities and other ships can identify and track vessels.