China secretly installs cruise missiles on South China Sea outposts
04 May, 2018, 13:56 | Author: Diane Mills
"We've raised concerns directly with the Chinese about this, and there will be near-term and long-term consequences and we'll certainly keep you up to date", Sanders said when asked about recent reports of China installing a new missile platform in the South China Sea.
Sanders issued the warning while she was responding to a question regarding CNBC's report that China had installed missile systems on outposts in the Spratly Islands, which are two-thirds of the way east from southern Vietnam to the southern Philippines.
"We are concerned with the reported China's missile deployments over the contested areas in the West Philippine Sea", Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said in a statement.
A 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that China's claims to the South China Sea, parts of which are also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei had "no legal basis". China lays claim to a number of disputed islands and territories, which often results in touchy situations during routine drills.
The Philippines' presidential palace said it did not have confirmed reports on the missile deployment.
The South China Sea is a global key trading route.
The deployment is said to be the first of its kind and ultimately shows how the Chinese have been boosting their military presence in the highly-contested region over the last few weeks.
Even with China continually on edge, the US has reaffirmed that it will continue to not only keep a noticeable presence, but also conduct drills as needed.
"Any action to militarise unilaterally features in the South China Sea would go against that responsibility and that role".
"With our recently developed close relationship and friendship with China, we are confident that those missiles are not directed at us", said Harry Roque, spokesmen for President Rodrigo Duterte.
"With a range of 295 nautical miles (nm) and 160 nm, the missiles can target vessels located as far as the waters of Balabac, Palawan". The same month, Australian warships on their way to Vietnam were challenged by the Chinese navy as they traversed the South China Sea, leading Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to assert Australia's right to travel in these worldwide waters.
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