China’s ‘disturbing’ missile tests contradict vow not to militarise South China Sea, says US
- Launch undermines claim to want peace in the region and is designed to intimidate other claimants of the disputed waters, Pentagon says
- Chinese government had warned ships not to enter area between Spratly and Paracel islands for five days while military drills took place
The Pentagon said on Tuesday a recent Chinese missile launch in the disputed South China Sea was “disturbing” and contrary to Chinese pledges that it would not militarise the disputed waterway.
“I’m not going to speak on behalf of all the sovereign nations in the region, but I’m sure they agree that [China’s] behaviour 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 added.
China has not confirmed the missile tests and on Tuesday the foreign ministry declined to comment, referring questions to the defence ministry, which did not respond to a request for comment.
The Chinese government has said that the military was carrying out drills between the Spratly and Paracel islands starting last weekend and ending on Wednesday, warning other shipping not to enter a designated area.
News of the China missile test was first reported by NBC News.