CHINA has sent a stern warning to the West after Beijing fired six Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles (ASBS) in the disputed South China Sea.
The naval tests were conducted between June 29 and 30, just days after Chinese President Xi Jinping met with US President Donald Trump to try and ease relations at the G20 summit in Japan. It remains unclear if China tested these missiles against dummy vessels or other targets, however the move has been widely condemned by Washington. Pentagon spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Dave Eastburn, labelled the tests “disturbing” and stated it goes against the Chinese President’ss 2015 election pledge to de-militarise the waters. He said: “The Pentagon was aware of the launch of Chinese missiles from the artificial structures of the South China Sea near the Spratley Islands.
“What is really disturbing about this act is that it is in direct contradiction to President XI’s statement … that he would not militariae these artificial outposts.”
US State Department spokeswoman, Morgan Ortagus, added: “China’s militarisation of disputed outposts in the South China Sea betrays President Xi’s 2015 commitment not to engage in such activity.
“It is provocative, complicates the peaceful settlement of disputes, threatens the security of other nations, and undermines regional stability.”
Beijing has since distanced itself from any wrong doing.
The Chinese Military has insisted the missiles were part of a “training exercise” and did not target any country.
A spokesman told the Global Times: “According to the annual training plan, The PLA Southern Command recently conducted life firing near the Hainan island.
“This training exercise didn’t target any country in particular.”
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The South China Sea is also one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
An estimated £3.95 trillion worth of goods passes through it each year.
In recent months, China has flexed its control over the area and has been seen aggressively building and militarising artificial islands.
Beijing has also confronted ships that enter the region.