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Palace 'concerned' over China missiles in disputed sea

Palace 'concerned' over China missiles in disputed sea”

The White House issued a stern warning to Beijing on Thursday over reports that its military installed new missile systems - some anti-ship, others surface-to-air - on island outposts in the South China Sea. But he estimates that Beijing "militarizes" the South China Sea.

"We are concerned with China's reported missile deployments over the contested areas in the West Philippine Sea", Philippine presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement, using the Philippine name for the area of the South China Sea claaimed by the country.

The US Navy has frequently sent warships and aircraft carriers to patrol the South China Sea area.

In Washington on Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Pentagon said the United States had already expressed its concerns over the reported Chinese military build-up, including "militarizing" artificial islands that they had built.

According to the US intelligence reports, Chinese military had deployed missiles to three artificial islands during recent military drills on the contested sea, CNN reported. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, appealed by the Philippines, had judged that Beijing had no historical rights in the South China Sea.

The placement of anti-ship missiles and surface-to-air missiles - if confirmed - will further ratchet up tensions over the South China Sea, particularly with those nations that have long laid claim to the Spratly Islands, including Taiwan and Vietnam.

"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. According to a report in CNBC, China has made the move quietly to project its power in of the most disputed zones in global affairs and it cited sources that have direct knowledge of United States intelligence reports.

Citing US intelligence reports, CNBC said the missile installations marked the first Chinese missile deployments in those reefs.

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"Our policy in the South China Sea remains the same".

Pentagon chief spokeswoman Dana White underscored Sanders' statement as well as highlighting the United States' commitment to the freedom of navigation in worldwide waters.

CNBC said the YJ-12B anti-ship cruise missiles allowed China to strike vessels within 295 nautical miles.

She said China has "indisputable sovereignty" over the islands.

The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, who took power in mid-2016, has set aside the Philippines' territorial disputes with China to pursue economic aid and investment from there.

"The US will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere that allows us so. we encourage other states to exercise the same rights under worldwide law", Felter said.

"The relevant deployment targets no one". "We hope that the relevant party could view this matter in an objective and calm way".



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