Date: February 17, 2016
TAIPEI/WASHINGTON // China has deployed an advanced surface-to-air
missile system to one of the disputed islands it controls in the South China Sea, Taiwan and US officials said, ratcheting up tensions even as US president Barack Obama urged restraint in the region.
Major General David Lo, the Taiwan defence ministry spokesman, said on Wednesday the missile batteries had been set up on Woody Island. The island is part of the Paracels chain, under Chinese control for more than 40 years but also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.
A US defence official also confirmed the “apparent deployment” of the missiles, first reported by Fox News.
China’s foreign minister said the reports were created by “certain Western media” that should focus more on China’s building of lighthouses to improve shipping safety in the region.
“As for the limited and necessary self-defence facilities that China has built on islands and reefs we have people stationed on, this is consistent with the right to self-protection that China is entitled to under international law so there should be no question about it,” Wang Yi told reporters in Beijing. [FULL STORY]