Summary: Recently China through their State media confirmed that squadrons of fighter aircraft were now stationed on Woody Island, one of the contested islands in the Paracel island chain. The same announcement also revealed the presence of new hardened and weatherproofed hangers for the aircraft, allowing for much longer deployments. The article further details much of the previous military buildup on the various natural and man-made islands controlled by China in disputed waters, such as radar equipment and anti-air defenses. Experts are quoted as believing that this innovation will be extended to Chinese bases in the contested Spratley island chain.

Analysis: This follows the general trend of military buildup on contested islands by the Chinese, which seem to be policies designed to make them better able to withstand any attack, in addition to limited power projection. The stationing of fighters in an environment that provides better protection from both weather and any attack from the air effectively does so. It is certainly likely the Chinese intend to implement these improvements on their other islands capable of hosting aircraft.