Firstly, you don't need to 'suggest' anything, since the Chinese have already announced that they will establish a garrison and military command on Woody Island.I would suggest that, more than likely, this is an initial step in establishing a permanent military presence on WOODY ISLAND, on which, by the way, according to Wikipedia, the Chinese "in July 1990, completed, a 2,700-metre runway that is capable of handling any third-generation fighter aircraft of the Chinese airforce such as the Sukhoi Su-30MKK", and also, in fact, the JH-7A.
Secondly, I would not take anything written on wikipedia as a solid or reliable source since literally anyone could have written that entry.
To my knowledge, the PLAAF or PLANAF have never landed any Su30MKKs on Woody Island before.
The runway could no doubt handle any fighters in the PLAAF or PLANAF, but that is very different to suggesting that fighters will be based there.
Well, I think your own comment is the best response to the above speculation on your part.The Chinese government, I'm quite certain, has not invested infrastructural development and political capital into WOODY ISLAND simply to use it as a helopad.
Facts suggest that the Chinese government has invested infrastructural development on Woody Island so that they could establish a political seat of government on the island and likely establish a small naval base for Corvettes and patrol ships.Sometimes, it might be wisest to consider objective actualities in our analyses as opposed to subjective presumptions.
The runway on Woody Island could accommodate fighters, but helicopters would be more useful and less intimidating.
Let's look at the objective facts shall we?Recent developments suggest, to me, that WOODY ISLAND, the seat of government of the newly established Sansha city, will become a major SCS PLAN airbase, and that, eventually, Su-30 MKKs, J-11BHs, and JH-7As will be stationed there.
China has done significant construction work on Woody Island recently and has stated it's plans to establish a new prefecture level city of Sansha, which has it's political and military headquarters based on Woody island.
However, if you had bothered to look at the satellite images of Woody Island and compared them to pictures before all the new construction work, you would realize that there has been very little work done on the runway. They built a new sea barrier to better protect it from the elements, and added a new small complex with what looks like two basketball courts with a new road that loads to the airfield, but that's about it.
The airfield still only has the four hangers, and there is not a shred of evidence to suggest that any work has been done to make it capable of handling even a modest number of fighters. So much for major naval airbase.
The bulk of the construction work has been focused on the building of a new harbor, it does not take a great deal of deductive reasoning to conclude that the new military presence is likely to be primarily naval as opposed to air power.
Woody Island's runway has been built with military fast jets in mind, but that is only a contingency for emergencies as opposed to a result of plans to base fighters there from the start. Had the Chinese wanted to base fighters there, they would have before now. Even if tensions escalate to the point where Beijing decides a fighter base on Woody Island is required, it will be J10s or J11s that will be based there, not JH7s.
Since we are on the subject of recent developments, remind me which battlefleet did the PLAN dispatch to deal with the Scarborough Shoal stand-off?
The PLAN is so vastly superior to all regional rivals in the SCS that there is no need to flex muscles to prove China's military superiority since that has never been in doubt. If anything, China has been extra careful to not even give the hint that it is flexing it's muscles in the region as the likes of the Philippines are transparently trying to provoke any kind of rise out of China so they can run and try to drag the Americans into the disputes.
Another recent development you seem to have not considered is the ongoing sea trials of the Varyag.
Why would the PLAN need to establish a naval air base on Woody Island when they will soon be able to park an aircraft carrier in the region if they really want to put the frighteners on someone?
Precious little have happened in the 4 months or so since I wrote that post you are quoting to suggest that the Chinese have any intention of setting up a new fighter base on Woody Island.
If anything, the evidence points to the PLAN being smart enough to realize when China's interest would be best served with them resisting the urge to get involved, and that has paid off. There is little reason and no evidence for China to suddenly abandon that winning formula now.