US warns China over missiles deployed on 3 PH reefs


WASHINGTON—The White House has warned that China would face “consequences” for its military buildup in contested waters in the western Pacific following reports that the Chinese had installed missiles on three disputed reefs in the South China Sea.

“We’re well aware of China’s militarization of the South China Sea,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Thursday.

“We’ve raised concerns directly with the Chinese about this and there will be near-term and long-term consequences,” Sanders did not say what the consequences would be.

The South China Sea is subject to a myriad of competing territorial claims. In recent years China has upped the ante, seizing islets and atolls in the face of protests and bellicose warnings.

Malacañang on Friday expressed concerns over the reported Chinese missile deployments on Kagitingan, Zamora and Panganiban, three of seven Philippine-claimed reefs that China had seized and transformed into artificial islands.

The three reefs are internationally known as Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief reefs, respectively. They are among the marine features in the Spratly archipelago that are disputed by China and the Philippines and three other Southeast Asian nations—

Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam. Taiwan, like China, claims all of the Spratlys.

“We are concerned with the reported China’s missile deployments over the contested areas in the West Philippine Sea,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Friday.

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