The US Department of Defense accused China of recently launching missiles in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. It characterized these as “alarming” and contrary to Beijing’s promises to avoid militarization in this region of the World Ocean, reports Reuters on July 3. Beijing, however, has not confirmed that a test took place in the area described by the US.
The US regularly tests its weapons in neutral waters, such as in the Gulf of Mexico.
The problem of the South China Sea has become one of the points of tension between the United States and China, which include trade war, American sanctions and the issue of Taiwan.
An official at the US Department of Defense on condition of anonymity told Reuters that over the weekend China had tested several anti-ship ballistic missiles.
“Of course, the Pentagon knew about the launch of Chinese missiles from artificial structures in the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands,” said Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Dave Eastburn . – I will not speak on behalf of all the sovereign states of the region, but I am confident that they will agree that the behavior of the PRC contradicts its statements about the desire to bring peace to the region. Obviously, such actions are forceful measures designed to intimidate other countries. ”
China has not confirmed the conduct of rocket tests in the specified area. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China declined to comment, recommending that questions be addressed to the country’s Ministry of Defense. Earlier, officials in Beijing reported that the Chinese military were conducting exercises between the Spratly archipelago and the Paracel Islands, which began on the weekend and would end on Wednesday, July 3, warning that other ships would not enter the designated area.
Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan are involved in territorial disputes with the People’s Republic of China in the South China Sea, through which ships with cargoes totaling about $ 5 trillion annually pass through.