In July 2016, the International Tribunal in Hague dismissed China’s rights on disputed islands and criticized its action in the South China Sea, including the construction of artificial land.
Chinese president, Xi Jinping said, “China’s territorial sovereignty and marine rights in the seas would not be affected by the ruling,” which declared vast areas of the sea to be neutral international waters or the exclusive economic zones of other countries. He insisted China was still “committed to resolving disputes” with its neighbors.
China’s Missile System in the South China Sea
The missiles now temporarily installed on Hainan Island. With a combination of short, medium, and long-range weapons system, they also include one battalion of an advanced SA-21 system, a long-range missile system based on 4th generation Russian software and capable of hitting an aircraft as far as 250 miles away.
Another two missile systems seen on Hainan island are known as the CSA-6b and HQ-9.
CSA-6b is a combined close-in missile system with a range of 10 miles and contains anti-aircraft guns, while the longer-range HQ-9 system has a range of 125 miles and it’s based on the Russian S-300 system.
The Missile system is believed to be transferred in the Spratly Islands by next year or earlier.
The latest deployment of Chinese military hardware comes days after the Chinese naval vessel returned the underwater research drone to the US Navy.
The Philippines’ Reaction
“While we are verifying this, we are already concerned about the report that they have made these installations, put up these new weapons systems there,” DFA Secretary said.
From the Philippines, of course, these are actions that will serve only to heighten the tensions that already exist,” he added.
Instead, he reiterated the Philippines’ decision, under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, to put the issue of territorial disputes with China on the back burner in the absence of a “ready solution” and as it seeks to reinvigorate the two countries’ economic and sociocultural ties.
President Duterte also downplayed concerns that China was militarizing the area and seemed calm by its dredging operation and building activity on reefs, several of them were part of the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
“One situation where he would take a stand against China was if it were to begin exploiting natural resources within the Philippine sovereign territory,” he added.