There are reports of, that for the first time in history, a Chinese military transport aircraft Y-20 landed on the Yongshu artificial reef in the South China Sea. Yongshu Reef is often referred to as "China's unsinkable aircraft carrier".
Of particular interest is the information on the landing of Y-20 on Yunshu due to the fact, that this reef is geographically considered to be part of the disputed Spratly archipelago (in Chinese version - Nansha). This group of many small islands is considered their own not only in the PRC, but also in a number of other countries of the region - in Vietnam, Brunei, Philippines, Malaysia, in Taiwan. American warships often appear in this area., and the Pentagon openly admit, that sending U.S. Navy ships to Spratly is aimed at containing China.
Chinese media reported that, that after landing on Yongshu, the military transport carried out unloading. This gave reason to assume, that additional equipment for the aerodrome could be delivered to the reef, which is actively exploited by the PLA Air Force.
China views Yongshu as a strategically important facility in the South China Sea. On the reef (island) there is a deep-sea bay, which large warships can enter. Also, the possession of Yongshu allows you to actually control the traffic of ships and vessels after they pass the Malacca Strait - it is in this direction that hundreds of merchant ships from the countries of Southeast Asia and back go every day..
The appearance of a military transporter of the Chinese Air Force on Yongshu may also be associated with the exercises of the Chinese aircraft carrier strike group led by the aircraft carrier "Shandong". Earlier, Voennoye Obozreniye reported, that the Chinese Navy closed several areas of the South China Sea for shipping to 7 January - precisely in connection with the mentioned teachings. Information about the decision of the Chinese military command caused a negative reaction in the Pentagon, where they stated about "attempts by the Chinese military to violate international law in the field of civilian shipping".