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.