Friday, 19 October, 2018

White House warns China on growing militarization in South China Sea

White House warns China on growing militarization in South China Sea White House warns China on growing militarization in South China Sea
Lisa Bryan | 04 May, 2018, 13:56

The U.S. has warned Beijing that there will be consequences over its latest militarization of the South China Sea, following reports that it had recently installed missile systems on islands in the contested waters.

Speaking to CNBC, a Pentagon official said the U.S. have "consistently" asked China and other claimants not to resort to reclaiming more land, set up fresh facilities, militarise disputed features and to show commitment towards managing and resolving disputes peacefully among themselves.

"We've raised concerns directly with the Chinese about this and there will be near-term and long-term consequences".

These incidents were then followed by a massive display of Chinese military might in the sea on April 12, culminating in a parade led by Beijing's only aircraft carrier and personally reviewed by President Xi Jinping.

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. And its in their interest to ensure that theres a free navigation of global waters, ? she said.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon confirmed that Chinese military personnel have used lasers against United States military planes in Djibouti.


China on Wednesday denied the deployment of any missile systems in the region, saying it has "indisputable sovereignty" over the area.

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".

With its rich fisheries and oil and gas potential, the South China Sea has been a source of contention for decades.

Sources told CNBC that they were outfitted with land-based, anti-ship cruise missiles, as well as surface-to-air missiles. And the HQ-9B long-range surface-to-air missiles could hit aircraft up to 160 nautical miles.

Meanwhile, in a separate interview, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim told reporters also on Thursday, a day after CNBC released its report, "We are concerned anytime a claimant, including China, takes an aggressive unilateral action toward militarization".

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