Philippines to look into reported China missile test in South China Sea
This file photo taken on April 21, 2017, shows an aerial image, from a Philippine airforce plane, of Subi Reef in the South China Sea and claimed by China.
AFP/Ted Aljibe

Philippines to look into reported China missile test in South China Sea

Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - July 3, 2019 - 12:02pm

MANILA, Philippines — While the United States raised alarm over a reported Chinese missile launch in the South China Sea, the Philippines has yet to verify this recent development.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippine government does not have first hand knowledge on the incident.

"We will conduct our own inquiry and will decide later what to do if proven correct," Lorenzana said in a statement.

The US Department of Defense, also called the Pentagon, said the missile launch of China, where it had installed military outposts, was "disturbing."

According to a report from Reuters, a US official who requested anonymity said Beijing tested multiple anti-ship ballistic missiles over the weekend.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn confirmed that Washington was aware of the missile launch from its artificial islands in the South China Sea.

"I'm not going to speak in behalf of all the sovereign nations in the region but I'm sure they agree that (China's) behavior is contrary to its claim to want to bring peace to the region and obviously actions like this are coercive acts meant to intimidate other (South China Sea) claimants," Eastburn said.

Beijing's reported launching of missiles from its man-made islands in the South China Sea came a year after it deployed missile systems on its "big three" islands — Fiery Cross, Mischief and Subi Reefs in the Spratly Islands.

In May 2018, CNBC reported that China quietly deployed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missiles on the islands.

In that same year, China also installed military jamming equipment on Fiery Cross and Mischief Reefs. These equipment are capable of jamming communications and radar systems over the contested waterway.

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