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This Is the Missile China Is Shipping to the South China Sea

Washington and its allies are concerned over the new deployment.

This aerial view of the city of Sansha on an island in the disputed Paracel chain, which China now considers part of Hainan province on July 27, 2012.  China has appointed military officers at a newly-established garrison in the South China Sea, state media reported on July 27 in the country's latest step to bolster claims to disputed islands in the area.         CHINA OUT      AFP PHOTO        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/GettyImages)
This aerial view of the city of Sansha on an island in the disputed Paracel chain, which China now considers part of Hainan province on July 27, 2012. China has appointed military officers at a newly-established garrison in the South China Sea, state media reported on July 27 in the country's latest step to bolster claims to disputed islands in the area. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/GettyImages)

Earlier this month, China quietly deployed some of its most advanced surface-to-air missiles to a disputed island in the South China Sea, further stoking tensions between Beijing and the governments of Vietnam and Taiwan, which also have laid claim to the Paracel Island chain. The multiple HQ-9 missile batteries placed on Woody Island have a range of about 125 miles, and operate like an American Patriot missile battery, which can be used to destroy aircraft, or knock cruise and ballistic missiles out of the sky.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmHE_v_mAF8

The HQ-9 has been paraded regularly in Beijing during military ceremonies, and has proved successful in testing.

Earlier this month, China quietly deployed some of its most advanced surface-to-air missiles to a disputed island in the South China Sea, further stoking tensions between Beijing and the governments of Vietnam and Taiwan, which also have laid claim to the Paracel Island chain. The multiple HQ-9 missile batteries placed on Woody Island have a range of about 125 miles, and operate like an American Patriot missile battery, which can be used to destroy aircraft, or knock cruise and ballistic missiles out of the sky.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmHE_v_mAF8

The HQ-9 has been paraded regularly in Beijing during military ceremonies, and has proved successful in testing.

Chinese People's Liberation Army HQ-9 surface to air missile launchers are seen during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on September 3, 2015, to mark the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan and the end of World War II. China kicked off a huge military ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War II on September 3, as major Western leaders stayed away. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo credit: GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images

China has long claimed ownership of the Paracel chain, which sits much closer to the mainland than the Spratly islands, where the country has focused much of its island-building efforts. FP’s Dan De Luce, Keith Johnson, and C.K. Hickey have mapped the Chinese efforts there already.

American officials are taking the new missile deployment pretty seriously. On a visit to Japan on Wednesday, Adm. Harry B. Harris, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, said the deployment of the missiles belies pledges made by Chinese President Xi Jinping last year not to militarize the South China Sea. “This calls into question the seriousness of President Xi’s statement,” Harris said. “It concerns me greatly because this would be a clear indication of the militarization of the South China Sea.”

Photo credit: STR/AFP/GettyImages

 

Tag: China

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