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    Chinese dredging vessels in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, photographed by a USN surveillance aircraft in 2015

    Beijing Deploys Cruise Missiles on Islands in South China Sea – Reports

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - China has secretly installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missiles in three South China Sea outposts, US media reported Wednesday.

    The land-based defensive missile systems were set up in Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef on the Spratly Islands within the past 30 days, anonymous sources told CNBC.

    Additional military equipment was reportedly spotted on satellite images of the nearby Woody Island, the largest of the Paracel Islands hosting Chinese military headquarters.

    Beijing lays territorial claims to what it calls the Nansha Islands, believed to be rich in oil and gas. The Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam have rival claims. The Paracel Islands, known as the Xisha Islands in China, are contested by Taiwan and Vietnam.

    An earlier report by the Asia Times said that Beijing was establishing another base in Sanya, a city on the southern edge of China's Hainan island in the South China Sea for the deployment of manned and unmanned submersible vehicles. Meanwhile, The Chinese People's Daily outlet has reported that workers are set to complete a new research center in Sanya for maritime exploration and data collection by 2019.

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    cruise missiles, South China Sea, China
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