THE Secretary of National Defense says they will conduct an inquiry into reports China has conducted a missile test in the South China Sea.
“We have no first hand knowledge about this missile launch except this news report. We will conduct our own inquiry and will decide later what to do if proven correct,” said Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana.
Lorenzana’s comment comes after a Reuters report which said China tested several anti-ballistic missiles over the weekend and said it was “disturbing.”
The Reuters report said China has not confirmed the missle tests, and quoted Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn saying, “Of course the Pentagon was aware of the Chinese missile launch from the man-made structures in the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands.”
Eastburn was also quoted as saying, “I’m sure they [other soverign nations] agree that thePRC [People’s Republic of China] ’s behavior is contrary to its claim to want to bring peace to the region and obviously actions like this are coercive acts meant to intimidate other (South China Sea) claimants,”
In May, a United States defense official told CNN China may have deployed missile systems in three islands of the South China Sea.
The report from CNN said the official referred to intelligence analysts, who said the missiles were placed on the Spratly Islands during Chinese exercises last month.
Also in May, satellite images published by Washington-based think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) showed more weapons systems could have been been installed in disputed waters in the South China Sea.
In June, CNN reported a satellite image they obtained showed at least four Chinese fighter jets were deployed to Woody Island.
By CNN Staff Philippines