Published: Ven, Mai 04, 2018
International | By Marie-Louise Baume

Spratly Island dispute: China deploys missiles in South China Sea

Spratly Island dispute: China deploys missiles in South China Sea

CNBC reported Wednesday the missile systems are now on three Chinese bases in the Spratly Islands.

The shifting of the weapons comes in the wake of China's recent installation of military jamming devices in the South China Sea that aim at nullifying communications and radar systems, CNBC said, adding: "By all accounts, the new coastal defense systems represent a significant addition to Beijing's military portfolio in one of the most contested regions in the world".

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".

She said any action to unilaterally militarise artificial islands in the South China Sea would go against that responsibility.

Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim on Thursday emphasized the importance of American ship visitations in the Southeast Asian (SEA) region, following concerns about continuous militarization in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

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A news report aired by CNBC said the YJ-12B anti-ship cruise missiles allowed China to strike vessels within 295 nautical miles. Virtually confirming the deployment of the missiles, Hua said, "relevant deployment is not directed against any country". Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims.

Any peaceful activities, including the deployment of necessary national defence facilities, have been created to safeguard China's sovereignty and security.

"Those who do not intend to be aggressive have no need to be anxious or scared", ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. "We've raised concerns directly with the Chinese about this and there will be near-term and long-term consequences", Sanders said. The surface-to-air missiles are reportedly HQ-9B type and possess a range of approximately 160 nautical miles. China has claimed almost 90% of the territory, which is defined by the nine-dash line, and has also issued a map to back its claims.

"We don't comment on matters of intelligence", a spokesman said.

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