China secretly transferred missiles on disputed Islands

China secretly transferred missiles on disputed Islands

The US White House in a statement warned of consequences for China in view of the increasing militarisation of the South China Sea area, which is also claimed by Vietnam and the Philippines.

Several countries - China, Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei - have been fighting over the resource-rich South China Sea for years.

A U.S. official also told CNBC that they have consistently called on China and other claimants to refrain from further "land reclamation, construction of new facilities, and militarization of disputed features, and to commit to managing and resolving disputes peacefully with other claimants". Neither can seriously contest Chinese claims, however, and the Philippines has expressed concern United States efforts would suck them into a war with China.

The US intelligence assessed that there is a high probability the Chinese military had deployed anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles during the military drills on the contested sea.

China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea.

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The Chinese now lay claim to the Pratas, Paracels and Spratly islands, as well as the Macclesfield Bank area.

"China is effectively also implementing a creeping invasion of the Philippines, unfortunately, without even a whimper of protest from the Philippine government", said Zarate, who is part of the militant Makabayan bloc. "Anyone with no invasive intention will find no reason to worry about this", she said, before going on to stress that China will continue to work with all countries to maintain peace and stability in the area. China claims nearly all of South China Sea.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said intelligence had seen some signs that China had moved some weapons systems to the Spratly Islands in the past month.

"This would be contrary to China's stated aspiration that it would not militarise these features", she told reporters on the Gold Coast.

"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. The HQ-9B long-range surface-to-air missile, on the other hand, can target aircraft, drones, and cruise missiles within 160 nautical miles.

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