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White House warns China on growing militarization in South China Sea

White House warns China on growing militarization in South China Sea

CNBC first reported the Chinese military had deployed the weapons systems to Subi Reef, Fiery Cross Reef and Mischief Reef, east of the Philippines, on Thursday, quoting a source with knowledge of USA intelligence reports. China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam all have overlapping claims in the region.

A Pentagon official speaking to United States media said that "The further militarization of outposts will only serve to raise tensions and create greater distrust among claimants", reports CNBC.

The Chinese army installed anti-ship and air-to-air defences on outposts also claimed by Vietnam and the Philippines over the last 30 days, U.S. network CNBC reported on Wednesday, citing sources close to U.S. intelligence.

Construction of an airstrip is shown on Fiery Cross, in the Spratly Islands, the disputed South China Sea in this March 9, 2017 satellite image released by CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) to Reuters on March 27, 2017.

"Any action to militarise unilaterally features in the South China Sea would go against that responsibility and that role".

Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim on Thursday emphasized the importance of American ship visitations in the Southeast Asian (SEA) region, following concerns about continuous militarization in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

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He said that at Trump's direction, he spoke with Kim about the release of three USA citizens detained by North Korea. As to the channel's information, these states are included in the short list of possible sites for their meeting.

"China's activities in the South China Sea is to uphold our sovereignty and territorial integrity".

She said the administration has brought its concerns "directly" to the Chinese government, and also stated that China will face "near term and long term consequences" for the missile installations. "All we can do is manage it", Koh said. Last year China had built missile shelters on the reefs.

Earlier media reported about the plans of China to open a new military base overseas, like "Bagnet".

Pentagon security chiefs has been grappling with lasers being pointed at aircraft for decades but the recent incidents highlight U.S. concerns about a Chinese military base just miles from a critical USA base in the east African state.

While the US routinely conducts maritime training drills in the South China Sea, military presence in the region is regularly contested. "The only thing lacking are the deployed forces", said Davidson.

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