China missiles in South China Sea threaten stability of region–AFP
A regional Philippine military official who holds jurisdiction over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) has expressed concern over the deployment of advanced surface-to-air-missile system in the hotly contested island.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Command chief Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez said on Thursday that while Woody Island was far from Philippine-claimed areas in the Spratlys, the deployment of the missiles was an interest of the whole region.
“In a way kasi hindi lang naman sa atin yan eh. It is the whole region. Although malayo yung Woody Island doon sa ating Kalayaan Island Group pero it is still the same. What if yung mga civilian aircraft na nandun na chinallenge nila na hindi sumagot, yun mga ganun bang klase,” he said.
“It really has impact on the security of the region. Kasi syempre pag meron sila nun, if they have that there, there is an intention to use it,” he added.
The Woody Island where the missiles are deployed is part of the Paracel Island chain, contested by China, Taiwan and Vietnam in the South China Sea. The Philippines has claims in the Spratlys, also disputed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.
“Yung stability ng region is being threatened because of the deployment ng mga ganung klaseng armas,” Lopez said.
The United States has criticized China’s move, saying it is an increased “militarization” in the disputed waterway. RC
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