China eyeing deployment of military planes, missiles in South China Sea, says expert

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MANILA, Philippines — China is eyeing to deploy military aircraft and missiles on its artificially-constructed islands in the West Philippine Sea and continues with its building activities in the region, according to an international expert.
 
Gregory Polling, a fellow of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, said the installation of military equipment and hardware on those artificial features had become likely after Chinese President Xi Jinping consolidated power following the recently concluded twice-a-decade meeting of the Communist Party of China.
 
“They didn’t build these hangers, so they can stand empty forever. Obviously they are going to use them,” Polling said on the sidelines of the “ASEAN Leadership Amid a New World Order” forum in Makati City, noting that all these might be part of Beijing’s consolidation of its gains in the past years.
 
He also disclosed that China had been continuing with its construction activities and its deployment of surface ships in the contested waters.
 
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