In an effort to allow Beijing to exercise higher control over the disputed waters of the South China Sea, anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems have been deftly and silently installed by China on three outposts west of Philippines. The information has come from sources directly linked to the U.S. Intelligence.
China sets up military outposts in the Spratly Islands
Over the past 30 days, several missile platforms were shifted to the Spratly Islands to Chinese outposts.
Recently, China installed military jamming equipment in the South China Sea. The system interfered with the working of communication and radar systems. The further installation of missile platforms has closely followed the installation of the jamming equipment. The new defensive systems have further strengthened Beijing's military portfolio.
Although neutral in its stand, the U.S. does have concerns about the claims over the Spratly Islands.
An official from Pentagon has stated that despite constant requests to China to avoid the reclamation of the land and the construction of new military facilities and to try and manage to conduct a peaceful resolution of the existing disputes, the Chinese government has refused to comply with peaceful conflict resolution and this could create greater distrust and tension among nations.
The new military systems, according to the Intelligence reports, have been deployed on Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef, and Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands.
6 countries have laid claim over the Spratly Islands out of which two-thirds of the Islands are located between Southern Vietnam and Southern Philippines.
Satellite images of China's military headquarters, Woody Island in Parcel Islands have shown the presence of these new military weapons. U.S. Intelligence believes that everything seen in Woody Island will eventually make its way down south to instill fear among China's neighboring countries.
Home to nearly 200 fractions of land, the South China Sea is a global trade route and annually, $3.4 trillion worth of trade passes through these routes. Different countries have laid claim to the reefs, rocks, and islands in the sea with Beijing holding the majority of armed outposts in this area.
Beijing is also highly interested in trying to develop the small specks of land that lies across the South China Sea.
U.S. officials have stated that it seems as though China has been completely successful in setting up their operating bases and now the only thing remaining is to deploy forces.