Malacañang 'confident' Chinese missiles 'not directed' at PH
Malacañang 'confident' Chinese missiles 'not directed' at PH
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05 May, 2018, 01:39
Beijing has installed cruise missiles and surface-to-air missiles on man-made islands throughout the South China Sea, according to a report on Wednesday, a move one USA security analyst described as "a clear offensive threat".
This comes after China quietly installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three outposts in the disputed region.
She said, "We're well aware of China's militarization of the South China Sea".
"We are concerned with the reported China's missile deployments over the contested areas in the West Philippine Sea", said Roque.
Neighbours such as the Philippines have disputed China's claim to the South China Sea.
Asked about the report, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said there would be consequences but not what they would be.
Joseph Felter, US deputy assistant secretary of defence for South and Southeast Asia, said the reported missile installation "absolutely looks like an effort to militarise these disputed features".
With its rich fisheries and oil and gas potential, the South China Sea has been a source of contention for decades.
The move, if confirmed, would mark the first Chinese missile deployments in the islands, where several Asian countries including the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan have rival claims.
"China's peaceful construction in the Spratly archipelago, including the deployment of necessary national defense facilities, is aimed at protecting China's sovereignty and security", Hua was quoted as saying.
Sung Kim, the United States ambassador to the Philippines, also told reporters in Manila that China's latest moves "suggest that they are moving toward militarisation", according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
According to CNBC, China has deployed missiles to Fiery Cross Reef, Mischief Reef and Subi Reef in the Spratlys. China has to realise that they've benefited from the free navigation of the sea.
It said that the YJ-12B anti-ship missiles would be able to strike ships up to 295 nautical miles away from the artificial islands.
"The further militarization of outposts will only serve to raise tensions and create greater distrust among claimants", he continued.
An worldwide court ruling in The Hague in 2016 failed to contain China's territorial claims over the South China Sea.
In March, a US Navy ship angered China's military by sailing within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef, an artificial reef in the Spratlys that China seized from the Philippines in 1995.
The Philippines won its arbitration case against China on the West Philippine Sea before the Hague-based UN Permanent Court of Arbitration in July 2016.
Adding, "The relevant deployment targets no one". And it's in their interest to ensure that there's a free navigation of global waters, she said.
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