FOX NEWS — China defended its militarization of its artificial reefs in the disputed South China Sea on Wednesday, saying repeated U.S. Navy patrols in the area are forcing it to boost its islands’ defense capabilities.
The China Defense Ministry said in a statement it deployed two navy fighter jets, one early warning aircraft and three ships to track the missile-guided destroyer USS William P. Lawrence as it passed near Fiery Cross Reef Tuesday.
“The provocative actions by American military ships and planes lay bare the U.S. designs to seek gain by creating chaos in the region and again testify to the total correctness and utter necessity of China’s construction of defensive facilities on relevant islands,” the ministry said.
“China will increase the scope of sea and air patrols based on need, boost all categories of military capacity building, resolutely defend national sovereignty and security, and resolutely safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea,” the statement said.
• US MISJUDGMENT ON SOUTH CHINA SEA WILL BE COSTLY: — ASIA TIMES
• AUSTRALIA DEFENDS US IN LATEST SOUTH CHINA SEA DISPUTE — ASIA TIMES