Washington: The US today warned China that it would face “consequences” for military buildup in the disputed South China Sea where Beijing has deployed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that the Trump administration has raised the issue with the Chinese leadership.
“We are well aware of China’s militarisation of the South China Sea. We’ve raised concerns directly with the Chinese leadership about this. And there will be near-term and long-term consequences,” Sanders told reporters, responding to a question on the Chinese military build up in the South China Sea and other parts of the world.
China yesterday defended the deployment of anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems in the disputed waters, saying it has “indisputable sovereignty” over the area.
The Pentagon has also expressed concern over the Chinese military buildup in the disputed waters.
“We have been very vocal about our concerns about them militarising these artificial islands. China has to realise that they’ve benefited from the free navigation of the sea. And the US Navy has been the guarantor of that, Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Dana White told reporters.
“We will continue to do our operations and ensure that the Chinese understand that they cannot, and should not, be hostile and understand that the Pacific is a place in which much commerce goes through. And it’s in their interest to ensure that there’s a free navigation of international waters, she said.
China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. China claims almost all of South China Sea. Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims.
The US media reports earlier said China has installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three of its outposts in the South China Sea. PTI