- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

China has deployed surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island in the South China Sea, according to the Taiwan Defense Ministry.

China made the move, according to CNN, just hours after President Obama called for new construction or militarization of Asia’s oceans to cease.

Mr. Obama made that statement Tuesday at a meeting in California of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, most of whose members border the South China Sea and who formed the alliance as a counterweight to China.

Maj. Gen. David Lo, a Taiwan Defense Ministry spokesman, told Reuters news agency on Wednesday that the batteries of missiles and radar systems was set up on Woody Island, part of the Paracels chain, which are also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.

“Interested parties should work together to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea region and refrain from taking any unilateral measures that would increase tensions,” Maj. Gen. Lo said Wednesday.

According to a Fox News report, citing an unnamed U.S. official who also confirmed the deployment, the batteries seem to be SQ-9 missiles, a Chinese version of Russia’s top-line S-300 system, which can shoot down planes 125 miles away.

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