MILITARIZATION?Beijing attempted to downplay the deployment on Woody Island, saying that Western media were playing the ‘same old tune’ about a ‘China threat’
Date: Feb 19, 2016
By: William Lowther / Staff reporter in Washington, with Agencies
China confirmed that it has weapons on a disputed island in the South China
Sea, state media said yesterday, as US Secretary of State John Kerry slammed Beijing for “militarization” of the strategically vital region.
The US broadcaster Fox News on Tuesday reported that a privately owned satellite company had provided images that appeared to show two batteries of eight surface-to-air missile launchers and a radar system had been installed on Woody Island (Yongxing Island, 永興島) — one of the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) — earlier this month.
Pentagon officials say the pictures are authentic, and Ministry of National Defense spokesman Major General David Lo (羅紹和) on Wednesday said that Taipei is closely monitoring developments.
Taiwan, China and Vietnam claim all or part of the Paracel Islands.
The Chinese Ministry of National Defense yesterday confirmed that “China has deployed weapons on the island for a long time,” reported the Global Times newspaper, which has close ties to the Chinese Communist Party. [FULL STORY]