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China claims South China Sea defences ‘absolutely necessary’

By AFP   |   25 February 2016   |   4:30 pm

China’s defences in the South China Sea are “absolutely necessary”, Beijing said Thursday, as it accused the US of militarising the region.

The defence ministry spoke out as tensions rose between the two powers over reports that Beijing has deployed surface-to-air missiles, fighter jets, and radar installations in the contested region.

“The US is truly the one pushing militarisation in the South China Sea,” said ministry spokesman Wu Qian at a regular monthly briefing.

“China’s building of defence facilities on the South China Sea islands and reefs is absolutely necessary.”

Beijing claims almost the whole of the South China Sea — through which a third of the world’s oil passes — while several other littoral states have competing claims, as does Taiwan.

“It is China’s legitimate right to deploy defence facilities within its own territory — no matter whether that deployment was in the past or at the present, no matter whether for a temporary or long-term basis, and no matter what kind of equipment has been deployed.”

A US official told AFP that Beijing has deployed surface-to-air missiles on Woody Island in the disputed Paracels chain — apparently HQ-9s, which have a range of about 200 kilometres (125 miles).

Citing two unnamed US officials, American broadcaster Fox News said Tuesday that US intelligence services had spotted Chinese Shenyang J-11 and Xian JH-7 warplanes on the same island.

Reports also surfaced this week of probable radar installations on reefs in the nearby Spratly islands that would “exponentially improve” the country’s monitoring capacities.

The United States has in recent months sent warships to sail within 12 nautical miles — the usual territorial limit around natural land — of a disputed island and reef transformed into an artificial island in what it says is a defence of the right to free passage.

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi on Thursday concluded a visit to the US for talks with US secretary of state John Kerry, who told reporters last week: “There is every evidence, every day, that there has been an increase of militarisation of one kind or another. It’s of a serious concern.”




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  • Lemmuel Odjay

    Time to tackle this problem head on. It is no longer acceptable for Fulani herdsmen to be allowed to continue killing innocent Nigerians and destroying their property while the government claims to be working hard to set up structures of a modern society.

    I am in support of establishing secure ranches across Nigeria’s cattle belt complete with water, schools, clinics, housing, etc if that would arrest the menace and restrict the movement of cattle farmers.

    Employment could be generated by encouraging farmers in other states to grow hay where the soil is fertile all year round for sale to those ranches.

    This is the time for all the arms of government concerned to sit down and find a permanent solution to this problem that is causing avoidable deaths, destruction and threatening the stability of our society.

    Who would bring their money to invest in a country as ours where murderous cattle farmers are allowed to roam unhindered?

  • Damilola

    …next time we hear on this, the investigations will still be on

  • juliusonny

    NIGERIA WE HAIL THEE!!!!
    Without the intention or any sort of inclination to playing tribalism or ethnic-ism. When will the northerners be integrated with the rest of the country? When will Islamic become peaceful religion? When will 1914 amalgamation really take place? When will Lord Lugard’s soul ever rest in peace? When will Mohamed followers learn to coexist with whatever religion anyone chooses? When will Mohamed himself resuscitate to tell his followers how they are misinterpreting the Holy Koran? When will the northern leaders lead their people to embrace peace? When will the northern leaders and those they lead learn that only peace can develop a nation and her people? When will the state and federal governments ban this form of raising animals and do it as it is done in developed countries? When will these nomads learn to settle in a place intelligently and raise their animals like civilized people? When is there really going to be one Nigeria? When will northern Nigerians stop chasing away tourists to Nigeria? When will Nigeria learn with South Korea? When? When? When?

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