Militarization of Spratly
Confirmation of what was already known.
China Acknowledges Militarization of its Spratly Island Bases
On Tuesday, a spokesman from China’s ministry of defense said that China has a “natural right as a sovereign nation” to deploy troops and military equipment to its bases in the Spratly Islands, which are built atop reefs claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam and other neighboring nations. The announcement – a rare direct acknowledgement that China is militarizing the islands – followed shortly after a report that China is deploying jamming equipment to its base at Mischief Reef, a recently-built land feature with a giant airfield, hangars, radars and air-defense weapons.
In 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged that China had no intention of militarizing its bases in the South China Sea. However, in December 2016, satellite imagery showed air defense weaponry installed on several of the Chinese-controlled islands.
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