China 'has deployed missiles in South China Sea' - Taiwan Featured

17 Feb 2016

China has deployed surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island in the South China Sea, Taiwan says.

Satellite images taken on 14 February appear to show two batteries of eight missile launchers and a radar system on Woody or Yongxing Island in the Paracels.

The presence of missiles would significantly increase tensions in the acrimonious South China Sea dispute.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said reports were a Western media invention.

But Mr Wang defended "the limited and necessary self-defence facilities" on islands inhabited by Chinese personnel as "consistent with the right for self-preservation and self-protection.... under the international law".

Asked about the reports, US Secretary of State John Kerry attacked China's increased "militarisation" of the contested region, saying it was a "serious concern".

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