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China Installs Missiles As 'National Defence Facilities' On South China Sea, US Warns Consequences

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| May 4 , 2018 , 11:15 IST

Amidst reports of China installing anti-ship and air-to-air up missiles on the contested South China Sea, the Chinese foreign ministry on Thursday stated that the Beijing has the right to deploy necessary 'national defence facilities'.

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.

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."

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She added, that "those who don't intend to violate (this sovereignty) have no reason to worry."

According to sources close to the US intelligence, the recent missiles were installed by the Chinese military in the last 30 days in the disputed South China Sea.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Thursday said that there would be consequences to China's militarisation of the South China Sea.

"We're well aware of China's militarisation of the South China Sea. We've raised concerns directly with the Chinese about this and there will be near-term and long-term consequences," Sanders said.

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For years the South China Sea area has been in dispute, with China, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all making claims for the archipelago. Dispute the controversy, China has been carrying land-reclamation efforts, building artificial reefs and has established air bases, radar and communication systems, naval facilities and defensive weaponry.

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

"China has to realise that they've benefited from the free navigation of the sea, and the US Navy has been the guarantor of that," Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said.

"We will continue to do our operations," she said.