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US warns China of "consequences" over Beijing’s "militarization" in South China Sea

March 02, 3:55 UTC+3 NEW YORK
"China must not pursue militarization in the South China Sea," US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told
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NEW YORK, March 2. /TASS/. The United States has warned China of "specific consequences" that would follow Beijing’s "aggressive" moves in the disputed region in the South China Sea.

"China must not pursue militarization in the South China Sea," US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told a discussion forum in San Francisco on Tuesday adding that "specific actions will have specific consequences."

In mid-February China deployed HQ-9 surface-to-air missile launchers on Woody Island (part of Paracel Islands) in the South China Sea. The HQ-9 is China’s new generation medium-to long-range, active radar homing surface-to-air missile. This is the first Chinese defense system capable of intercepting ballistic missiles. Chinese Foreign Ministry Wang Yi said that Beijing is entitled to deploying defense infrastructure on the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

Beijing has for decades been involved in a dispute with many countries in the region over the territorial jurisdiction of a number of islands in the South China Sea, where significant reserves of hydrocarbons have been found. This refers, above all, to the Xisha archipelago (the Paracel Islands), the Nansha Islands (the Spratly Islands) and Huangyan Island. Other countries involved in the dispute are Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines. As of the end of 2013, China has been engaged in large-scale hydro-engineering and construction work on the expansion and development of the territories under its control.

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