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05 May 2018, 01:42 | Myrtle Vega
GettyXi Jinping has allegedly fitted the outposts in the contested area with anti-ship cruise missiles
WASHINGTON: The White House warned Thursday that China would face "consequences" for its military buildup in contested waters in the western Pacific.
"We know about the militarization of China in the South China sea".
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said: "We're well aware of China's militarisation of the South China Sea".
In turn, Beijing to strengthen its claims to the territory have created several artificial Islands, which has placed its military forces.
Earlier, the United States lodged a formal complaint with Beijing after Chinese nationals pointed lasers at U.S. military aircraft near a base in Djibouti in a number of incidents in recent weeks. Their placement on Subi, Mischief, and Fiery Cross Reefs means that China could theoretically engage ships in most of the southern half of the South China Sea, and engage aircraft flying anywhere in the vicinity of the wider Spratly Islands.
For years the South China Sea area has been in dispute, with China, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all making claims for the archipelago.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying earlier said, her nation has been involved in peaceful construction in the islands and such relevant deployments target no one.
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Pentagon chief spokeswoman Dana White underscored Sanders' statement as well as highlighting the United States' commitment to the freedom of navigation in global waters.
Defending its deployment of anti-ship cruise missiles, Beijing has said that China's activities in the region are aimed at upholding its sovereignty.
Felter said "the U.S. will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere that worldwide law allows us", and "we encourage other states to exercise those same rights under global law". China claims nearly all of South China Sea.
"But for the South-East Asian countries and even smaller countries like Australia, France and the United Kingdom, which have been operating in the South China Sea recently, it'll be another ratcheting up of the threat level that will give politicians more pause for thought potentially before they commit to sending a single ship to prove a right to access".
"Relevant deployment is not directed against any country".
China occupies seven features in the Spratly Islands, and since 2013, it has reclaimed over 3,000 acres of land to build military bases and port facilities on.
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