China installed missiles in S. China Sea

Saul Bowman
May 4, 2018

China has deployed a defensive missile system on the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, the Chinese foreign ministry has confirmed.

They would be the first Chinese missile deployments in the Spratlys, where several Asian countries including Vietnam and Taiwan have rival claims.

China could use the bases to challenge the USA regional presence, and "would easily overwhelm the military forces of any other South China Sea-claimants".

CHINA has reportedly installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three reefs claimed by the Philippines in disputed waters of the South China Sea.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, regarding the militarisation said in a press briefing, "China's peaceful construction in the Spratly archipelago, including the deployment of necessary national defence facilities, is aimed at protecting China's sovereignty and security".

The US White House in a statement warned of consequences for China in view of the increasing militarisation of the South China Sea area, which is also claimed by Vietnam and the Philippines.

"Those who do not intend to be aggressive have no need to be anxious or scared", ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing. "We hope that the relevant party could view this matter in an objective and calm way".

The U.S. Defense Department, which opposes China's installation of military facilities on outposts it has built up in the South China Sea, declined comment.

Beijing has also dismissed a ruling by an global tribunal in The Hague rejecting its claim to the sea.

"We're well aware of China's militarization of the South China Sea", she said, in one of the strongest statements by the United States government in months.

"Before this, if you were one of the other claimants. you knew that China was monitoring your every move".

China has placed on the Islands ground-based anti-ship cruise missiles YJ-12B, capable of striking surface vessels within a radius of more than 500 km, and missiles of a class "earth-air" HQ-9B, which can shoot down airplanes within a radius of 300 km.

U.S. Adm. Philip Davidson said last month that China's forward operating bases appear to already be complete.

The US accuses China of deliberate militarization of the region.

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