Palace concerned on China’s reported missile deployment in WPS

MANILA MalacaAang on Friday expressed concern over reports that China has deployed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems in the disputed West Philippine Sea (WPS).

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.

According to media reports, China installed the missile systems on Fiery Cross (Kagitingan) Reef, Subi (Zamora) Reef, and Mischief (Panganiban) Reef in the Spratly Islands.

The Philippines and China, along with Vietnam, have overlapping claims on the Spratly Islands.

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.

In July 2016, The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration handed its verdict in favor of the Philippines' arbitration case contesting China's nine-dash line claims in the WPS.

The United Nations arbitral tribunal ruled that China does not have historic rights and that the nine-dash line has no legal basis.

China, as expected, has rejected the arbitral tribunal's decision, prompting President Rodrigo R. Duterte to temporarily shelve it to give way peaceful and friendly dialogues. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency