US: China finishing 'missile' structures on reefs
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China, in an early test of U.S. President Donald Trump, has nearly finished building almost two dozen structures on artificial islands in the South China Sea that appear designed to house long-range surface-to-air missiles, two U.S. officials told Reuters. The development is likely to raise questions about whether and how the United States will respond, given its vows to take a tough line on China in the South China Sea. China claims almost all the waters, which carry a third of the world’s maritime traffic. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims. Trump’s administration has called China’s island building in the South China Sea illegal. Building the concrete structures with retractable roofs on Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross reefs, part of the Spratly Islands chain where China already has built military-length airstrips, could be considered a military escalation, the U.S. officials said in recent days, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Romero, P. (2017, February 23). US: China finishing 'missile' structures on reefs. Philippine Star, p. 5.
Disputes; Territorial waters; Artificial islands; Military operations; International law; Law of the sea; Defence craft; Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Trump, Donald; Geng, Shuang; Tillerson, Rex; Xi, Jinping; Poling, Greg; Yasay, Perfecto Jr.; Freeman, Chas
- The Philippine Star