China has deployed surface-to-air-missiles in South China Sea: Reports
Feb 17, Beijing: China appears to have deployed surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island in the South China Sea, media reports said.
A report published by Fox News and civilian satellite images appear to show two batteries of eight missile launchers and a radar system on Woody Island in the Paracels.
Taiwan, which along with Vietnam claims the island, confirmed the deployment.
The deployment of missiles would significantly increase tensions in the acrimonious South China Sea dispute.
China has been carrying out extensive land reclamation work in the South China Sea, which it says is legal and for civilian purposes, BBC news reported.
But the work has angered other countries which also claim the territory, and there is growing concern about the militarisation of the region.
Reuters quoted a US official confirming the "apparent deployment".
The latest images were captured by ImageSat International.
According to the report, the images show a close-up of a section of beach which resembles the coastline on the north of Woody Island, and point out two missiles batteries. Each battery is made up of four launchers and two control vehicles.
The Oslo Times