China denies building missile system in S.China Sea

Pentagon claims evidence exists that shows Chinese military deployed surface-to-air missiles on Paracel island in South China Sea chain

China denies building missile system in S.China Sea

World Bulletin / News Desk

China has denied widely-reported allegations that it has built a missile on a reef it has been been building on in the South China Sea.

On Wednesday, following a meeting with Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi denied a reporter's suggestion that Beijing had constructed a missile system on Woody Island in the Paracel chain.

“Western media is lying” he said, urging "foreign press" to instead focus on “China providing public services” in the region.

“China is the flagship country that provides infrastructural services in the South China Sea,” he underlined.

China has raised tensions with the United States and its neighbors by embarking on construction of man-made islands and airstrips on the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea group, which are claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Since last October, two U.S. warships have sailed close to Chinese claimed features in "freedom-of-navigation operations" that Beijing has called "provocative".

On Tuesday, the Pentagon claimed that it has evidence that the Chinese military has deployed surface-to-air missiles on the island.

The Paracels are part of a group of reefs, islets, atolls, cays and islands that China refers to as the Nanshas, but others call the Spratlys.

They are claimed by a number of Southeast Asian countries.

Among the claimants, are the the Philippines, which has taken the quarrel over ownership of the islands – which Manila calls the West Philippine Sea -- to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in The Hague.

China has asserted that the tribunal has no jurisdiction over the sea dispute, and has refused to participate in its hearings.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Şubat 2016, 15:35