23:45 GMT +323 January 2020
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - China has every right to deploy the necessary military equipment to Nanshan Island of the disputed Spratly archipelago to preserve the country's sovereignty and national security, the deputy director of the Chinese Defense Ministry's Information Office said on Tuesday.

    "Nanshan Island is a territory of China. The deployment of the necessary military equipment on these islands is the natural right of a sovereign state. It is in the interests of protecting its sovereignty and security, in the interests of ensuring freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, as well as ensuring regional peace and stability, not directed against any country," Ren Guoqiang said.

    On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Beijing had installed military jamming equipment on the island.

    READ MORE: Chinese Navy to Hold Military Drills in South China Sea — Reports

    The South China Sea, a strategically and economically key maritime region, is disputed between numerous countries in the region. Beijing has been pushing its claim on the area by constructing artificial islands around the disputed island chain.

    The US has been further escalating the situation by conducting patrolling and performing drills with its allies in the region. Washington claims that its actions are to ensure freedom of navigation, while Beijing calls the move a violation of its territorial sovereignty.


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