Sunday, February 28, 2016

South China Sea China Angry over US criticism on Militarization South China Sea  China Angry over US criticism on Militarization.

South China Sea missile deployment raises fears of deepening crisis TOKYO -- Tensions have risen further in the South China Sea following China's deployment of HQ-9 long-range surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island in the region, drawing condemnation from Washington. The presence of HQ-9, or Hongqi-9, missiles on Woody Island, known as Yongxing Island in China, has been confirmed by aerial photos. Taiwan's defense ministry also stated it is aware of the deployment. According to U.S. media reports, at least eight surface-to-air missile launchers and a radar system were confirmed to have been placed on the Island. The Paracel Islands, known as Xisha in China and Hoang Sa in Vietnam, are claimed by both countries as well as Taiwan. The development will cause great concern in Taipei and Hanoi. Moreover, it is an apparent contradiction of Chinese Presidnet Xi Jinping's September 2015 pledge to U.S. President Barack Obama that the South China Sea would not be militarized. The pledge was made in connection to the dispute over China's land reclamation activity on reefs in the area. "Xi has suffered a loss of face [at the hands of the U.S.] so he has probably taken a retaliatory measure," said a source familiar with China's security issues. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was resolute in his assessment, stating that China's deployment of defense facilities on an integral part of its territory falls within its sovereign rights and international law, and has nothing to do with "militarization." The Global Times, a tabloid owned by the party-controlled People's Daily, also defended the deployment. "The Xisha Islands are Chinese territory and have long been under China's actual control," said an editorial published on Feb. 19. "Island building in Nansha and missile deployment in Xisha are in accordance with international law." HQ-9 long-range surface-to-air missiles are displayed during a military parade in Beijing on Sept. 3, 2015. The Spratly Islands, known as the Nansha Islands in Chinese, are claimed either entirely or in part by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. Feb. 19 also saw an inspection of the People's Daily headquarters in Beijing by none other than Xi himself, and the editorial seems far from coincidental.

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