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Daily Trends Now


China says it has 'indisputable sovereignty' over South China Sea

China says it has 'indisputable sovereignty' over South China Sea

USA news network CNBC reported on Wednesday that China had installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three outposts in the South China Sea.

CNBC quoted unnamed sources as saying that according to USA intelligence assessments, the missiles were moved to Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef within the past 30 days.

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.

Poling said it would be a major step on China's road to dominating the South China Sea, a key global trade route.

"The further militarisation of outposts will only serve to raise tensions and create greater distrust among claimants", the official said.

The installment of missile systems would be the first of its kind in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, where other nations - including Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam - dispute the territorial waters, CNBC reported. China claims nearly all of South China Sea.

Washington warned that Beijing would face unspecified "consequences" over its militarisation of the South China Sea, and said it had raised the issue with China.




China's defence ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Beijing previously announced in 2016 it had already deployed similar weapons to Woody Island in the Paracel Islands, on the northwestern edge of the South China Sea.

China has the right to conduct peaceful construction activities on the Nansha Islands, also known as the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea, said the country's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on Thursday.

"We've raised concerns directly with the Chinese about this and there will be near-term and long-term consequences", she said. "All we can do is manage it", Koh said.

The same month, Australian warships en route 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 worldwide waters.

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

While the US routinely conducts maritime training drills in the South China Sea, military presence in the region is regularly contested.

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