Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Malacañang is concerned with the reported deployment of Chinese missile systems in Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef, Zamora (Subi) Reef and Panganiban (Mischief) Reef in the Spratly Islands.
However, the Palace official said they are confident the Chinese missiles are not directed at Philippines.
“We are concerned with the reported China’s missile deployments over the contested areas in the West Philippine Sea,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.
“With our recently developed close relationship and friendship with China, we are confident that those missiles are not directed at us,” Roque said.
“Be that as it may, we would explore all diplomatic means to address this issue,” he added.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said “China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha (Spratly) Islands and the adjacent waters.”
“Our peaceful construction activities on the Nansha Islands, including the deployment of necessary national defense facilities, are meant to safeguard China’s sovereignty and security, which is also the rights a sovereign state is entitled to,” she added.
“Anyone with no invasive intention will find no reason to worry about this. We hope that the relevant party could view this matter in an objective and calm way,” she noted.
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.
Sources: http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1034269; http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/t1556501.shtml; https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/02/china-added-missile-systems-on-spratly-islands-in-south-china-sea.html