South China Sea: World War 3 fears as Beijing deploys troops and weapons on islands | World | News

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China has vowed to protect what they see as their territory following accusations of aggressive militarisation in the area. General Wei Fenghe, China’s minister of national defence said the county is within its right to build defence facilities. Other countries have fiercely contested China’s hold over the seas.

General Wei told the Shangri-La Dialogue: “It is the legitimate rights of a sovereign state to carry out construction on its own territory.

“Where there are threats, there is defence.

“In the face of heavily armed warships and military aircraft, how can we stay impervious and not build some defence facilities?”

He Lei, a lieutenant general of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), added remarks on the subject are “irresponsible”.

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Lieutenant Lei told the South China Morning Post (SCMP): “Deploying troops and weapons on islands in the South China Sea is within China’s sovereign right to do and allowed by international law.

“All irresponsible remarks on the subject are an infringement of China’s domestic affairs.”

He added China’s construction of military outposts are like Deng Xiaoping sending a PLA garrison to Hong Kong after the 1997 handover, in a show of the country’s sovereignty in the region.

His comments come after US Defence Secretary James Mattis accused the country of “coercing and intimidating its neighbours” with its military activities.

Satellite images last month showed Beijing’s increased military presence on islands in the disputed sea.

Military expert Andrei Chang noted the islands were not being used for civilian use.

Mr Chang told SCMP: “The satellite pictures show Beijing has stepped up its progress on militarising those island outposts, which will become the PLA’s naval and air force bases in the future.

“The facilities and buildings flanked by radar equipment on the tiny islands are not for civilian use, but are large-scale military complexes.”



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