According to the reports, China has deployed surface-to-air missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles in the Spratly Islands chain that is located in the South China Sea. This is just another move that Beijing made, along with the installing the jamming equipment in the region that is there and designed to disrupt all radar systems and all attempts at communication.
This anti-ship cruise missile system is land-based and it is believed to be the famous YJ-12B, which is good enough and strong enough for China to strike surface vessels within the 295 nautical miles range. HQ-9B missiles are the surface-to-air-missiles that are able to reach great distances. They can engage targets at ranges of 160 nautical miles. Intelligence assessments say the missile platforms have been moved in the past thirty days, which is pretty interesting.
The White House is well-aware of what the Chinese are doing and they have stated that there will be both short-term and long-term consequences for their moves – mainly for Beijing’s militarization of the South China Sea.
What about Pentagon? Well, The Pentagon is also pretty concerned about China’s actions. They have stated that China actually benefits from America’s military presence in the region.
Dana W. White, the Defense Department spokeswoman, has explained that the US has always had concerns about Beijing militarizing these islands. She pointed out that East Asia country has always been the beneficiary of the free navigation of the sea. The US Navy has been the one that constantly guaranteed that.
When you take a look at this situation, the deployment of the missiles is a huge provocation. If they don’t move these systems from their bases, the other regional powers like the United States, Japan, and Australia are going to be angry, they are going to talk a lot less and take a lot more actions.