05:10 GMT +3 hours27 June 2016
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Woody Island, a island in the South China Sea occupied by China and claimed by several other countries, is shown in satellite images taken on February 14, 2016 and February 3, 2016, in this handout image provided by ImageSat International N.V. 2016, on February 18, 2016

Beijing Smacks Down US Criticism Over Missiles in South China Sea

© REUTERS/ ImageSat International N.V. 2016
Asia & Pacific
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Beijing has dismissed criticism from Washington that missiles placed in the South China Sea could raise regional tensions, comparing defensive installations in China’s backyard to America’s own in Hawaii.

Last week, the US government accused China of placing missiles systems on Woody Island.

"Commercial imagery seems to indicate that China has deployed surface-to-air missile systems on a disputed island in the South China Sea, I am confirming that," US Department of State deputy spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters.

"If this is true, we believe it will raise further tensions in the region."

On Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded, insisting that it has every right to maintain defensive systems within what it considers to be its own territory. Spokeswoman Hua Chunying stressed that the US should not use the issue as a "pretext to make a fuss."

"China’s deploying necessary, limited defensive facilities on its own territory is not substantively different from the United States defending Hawaii," Hua said.

She also pointed out that the United States has no official claims in the region.

"The US is not involved in the South China Sea dispute, and this is not and should not become a problem between China and the United States," Hua said.

Washington expressed concern that Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea are aimed at establishing an air defense identification zone, and US officials have sharply criticized China’s construction of artificial islands in the Spratly archipelago.

Beijing maintains that it has every right to build within its own territory, and that the islands will be used primarily for humanitarian purposes.

In addition to launching a number of joint military exercises with regional allies, the United States has conducted aggressive naval patrols and flown surveillance flights near the disputed islands, according to the spokeswoman.

"It’s this that is the biggest cause of the militarization of the South China Sea," Hua said on Monday. "We hope that the United States does not confuse right and wrong on this issue or practice double standards."

Earlier on Monday, a senior US naval official said that the US was encouraging Australia and other regional allies to conduct their own military patrols to challenge Chinese territorial claims. The Pentagon has indicated that it will continue its own "freedom-of-navigation" operations.

"We will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows; that includes in the South China Sea and that part of the world," US Department of Defense spokesperson Peter Cook told reporters on Friday.

"It [China’s deployment of missile systems] does not alter our own operations and it will not."

The heated rhetoric comes ahead of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to the United States this week.

Related:
Beijing Determined to Maintain Sovereignty, Strength in S. China Sea
Beijing Deploying Missiles in S. China Sea to Not Affect US Military Plans
Beijing Within Its Rights to Deploy Air Defense Missiles in S. China Sea
Tags:
U.S. Department of State, freedom of navigation, land reclamation, Chinese Foreign Ministry, Pentagon, Peter Cook, Mark Toner, Wang Yi, Hua Chunying, Woody Island, South China Sea, United States, China
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  • It's funny how the Zionists try to control the narrative, but it is more hilarious when the truth shatters that narrative. Not a big fan of China's political system but I sure am a fan of the truth. Good for you China!
  • michael
    I only wish that toner would speak with some logical form. His statement is unclear as to whether he is confirming that commercial imagery indicates that missiles seem to be there or, is he trying to say that the missiles are there. Idiocy or obfuscation? Hard to tell. :)
  • WTF? So, China didn't ask Washington for permission to build ANYTHING they want on THEIR territory? GTF outta here! Paranoid psychopaths in charge of the military and the country isn't the best idea.
  • Jet fuel can't melt steel beams
    Keep making zionazi angry! Good move China!
  • I am pretty sure SAM's actually eliminate Tensions.
    As secured Air Space becomes a point where Terminal realities are demarked.
    Meaning those who step into Terminal realities *raise* tensions.
    The person with the defensive SAM is protecting *interests*

    pretty simple OM!

    maybe people shouldn't pressure an ancient Empire that settled North America before America was even Coined.. ah..
  • Zhukov
    You can bet your last dozen paychecks that US will practice double standards.
  • ivanwa88
    Why doesn't US just shut the f..k up! there getting like that cheeky impetuous school kid disrupting class with there stupid pestilence! and annoying the bejesus out of everybody before getting detention after school...100 lines I must keep quiet and listen up!
  • beydety
    Go China, f...k what those terrorist US think.
  • surferket
    Invaded Grenada and Panama to install US puppets.
  • surferket
    Just look at here: www.flightradar24.com/27.08,47.39/3

    And see that China anti aircraft missiles in Woody island or even in the Spratleys are no threat to any civilian airlines.

    They are only a threat to US spy planes flying over Chinese territories.
  • tobi.gelando
    Bravo China ask the evil Empire what there are doing in Gutanamo Bay, Porto Rico, HawaII,Panama Etc.
  • siberianhusky
    Bravo China, anything to pee off the ZionNazies in Zionton. ZionNazies with 800+ bases and stations around the world to dominate the countries they are in are bitchin about China's islands the South China Sea to which they have historical links going back 1000+ years
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