Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

U.S. warns China of consequences of militarisation in South China Sea

South Korean president Moon Jae-in and Chinese president Xi Jinping Read more South Korea China and Japan set Tokyo summit on North Korea
Charlie Simmons | 04 May, 2018, 13:52

Amidst reports of China installing anti-ship and air-to-air up missiles on the contested South China Sea, the Chinese foreign ministry on Thursday stated that the Beijing has the right to deploy necessary "national defence facilities".

The South China Sea which sits between Vietnam, Philippines, China and other nations is subject to a myriad of competing territorial claims.

"We're well aware of China's militarization of the South China Sea", Sanders said at a press briefing.

Close U.S. ally the Philippines, which is now pursuing strong ties with its historic rival China, gave a cautious response on Friday to the reported deployment. Neither can seriously contest Chinese claims, however, and the Philippines has expressed concern USA efforts would suck them into a war with China.

A Pentagon official speaking to United States media said that "The further militarization of outposts will only serve to raise tensions and create greater distrust among claimants", reports CNBC.

The Chinese claims in the South China Sea, as well as the East China Sea, are countered by Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan, and Japan.

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"China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha (known as Spratly) islands and its affiliated islands", foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.

The drill was held amid frequent forays made by USA naval and aircraft into the South China Sea to assert the freedom of navigation especially around the artificial islands built by China, where it has also established garrisons.

"According to reports, the missiles are located in Zamora Reef (Subi), Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross), and Panganiban Reef (Mischief) which are approximately just 13 nautical miles (nm), 103 nm, and 117 nm away from Pag-asa Island, respectively", said the Marine captain-turned congressman.

Even with China continually on edge, the USA has reaffirmed that it will continue to not only keep a noticeable presence, but also conduct drills as needed.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said: "They are very serious incidents". There have been two minor injuries. She said the Chinese must understand that "they can not, and should not, be hostile, and understand that the Pacific is - a place in which much commerce goes through".

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