Chinese civil aircraft land on new South China Sea airports

The center portion of the Subi Reef runway is shown in this Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative January 8, 2016 satellite image released to Reuters on January 15, 2016. REUTERS/CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/Digital Globe/Handout via Reuters/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - Two Chinese civilian aircraft landed on Wednesday at two new airports on reefs controlled by China in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, Mischief Reef and Subi Reef, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The aircraft then returned to the southern Chinese island province of Hainan, from where they had taken off, it added in a brief story on one of its official microblogs.

It was not immediately clear if both aircraft visited both of the reefs, or if one went to one reef, and the other to the other reef.

Reporting by Beijing monitoring desk and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel