May 26, 2018

Government 'concerned' by Beijing's South China Sea military build up

04 May 2018, 10:43 | Marta Robbins

China 'secretly places' cruise missiles on islands in contested waters

China has made no mention of any missile deployment in Spratly islands but says its military facilities in the island are purely defensive and that it can do what it likes on its own territory

CNBC first reported the Chinese military had deployed the weapons systems to Subi Reef, Fiery Cross Reef and Mischief Reef, east of the Philippines, on Thursday, quoting a source with knowledge of U.S. intelligence reports.

She said the administration has brought its concerns "directly" to the Chinese government, and also stated that China will face "near term and long term consequences" for the missile installations.

China's installment of missile systems on the Spratly Islands comes amid another move by the country that is a cause for concern in the region.

China's foreign ministry said Thursday that the move was done for national security reasons.

Fiery Cross Reef in January 2018 - one of the locations of the missile deployments. "And it's in their interest to ensure that there's a free navigation of global waters", she said.

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

China "hopes relevant parties can objectively and calmly view this", she added.

Canada's PM: US tariffs on steel, aluminum a 'very bad idea'
The U.S. refused to offer the European Union compensation and said the request for consultations had no basis under WTO rules. Germany, the EU's largest steel exporter to the US , accounted for about 5 percent of USA steel imports previous year .

China has denied the claim that it is militarizing the artificial islands in the South China Sea and that its development of the islands is for defensive purposes only.

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. "All we can do is manage it", Koh said.

"We have consistently called on China, as well as other claimants, to refrain from further land reclamation, construction of new facilities, and militarisation of disputed features, and to commit to managing and resolving disputes peacefully with other claimants", an official from the Pentagon told CNBC.

In April, the Wall Street Journal reported USA officials had confirmed China had installed military radar jamming equipment on the Spratly Islands.

U.S. Adm. Philip Davidson said last month that China's forward operating bases appear to already be complete.

The White House has warned China that it will not accept the continued military build-up in the hotly contested region.

Asked about the report, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said there would be consequences but not what they would be.

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