China silently ‘installed’ missile systems in Spratly Islands

China silently “installed” anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems in Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef, Zamora (Subi) Reef and Panganiban (Mischief) Reef in the Spratly Islands, American news outlet CNBC reported citing sources with direct knowledge of United States intelligence reports on May 2.

According to CNBC’s sources, the missile systems were installed in the past 30 days.

“We have consistently called on China, as well as other claimants, to refrain from further land reclamation, construction of new facilities, and militarization of disputed features, and to commit to managing and resolving disputes peacefully with other claimants,” a United States Defense Department official told CNBC when asked asked about China’s latest action in Spratly Islands.

“The further militarization of outposts will only serve to raise tensions and create greater distrust among claimants,” the US defense official added.

CNBC said in the report that the YJ-12B land-based anti-ship cruise missiles allow China to strike surface vessels within 295 nautical miles of the reefs.

It added that the long-range surface-to-air missiles designated as HQ-9B, have an expected range of targeting aircraft, drones and cruise missiles within 160 nautical miles.