Taiwan and U.S. officials say China has deployed surface-to-air missiles in the South China Sea, though Beijing contends the reports are an invention of the Western media.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said it “learned of an air defense missile system deployed” in the contested area known as Woody Island.
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi would not confirm or deny the missiles, but images from Feb. 14 apparently show two batteries of eight missile launchers and a radar system on the island in the Paracel chain.
Another Chinese foreign ministry official—who would also not confirm the Feb. 14 missiles—said of the islands: “Our deployment of defense facilities in our own territory is appropriate and reasonable. It’s aimed at improving our national defense capabilities and has nothing to do with so-called militarization.” Read more.