China’s military conducted a flight test of an anti-ship ballistic missile in the contentious South China Sea last weekend in violation of a pledge four years ago by President Xi Jinping not to militarize the waterway.
“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,” Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, told the Washington Free Beacon.
“What’s truly disturbing about this act is that it’s in direct contradiction to President Xi’s statement in the Rose Garden in 2015 when he pledged to the U.S., the Asia-Pacific region, and the world, that he would not militarize those man-made outposts,” Eastburn stated, referring to Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
China’s behavior in conducting the provocative missile test is contrary to Beijing’s claim to want to bring peace to the region, he added. “And obviously actions like this are coercive acts meant to intimidate other claimants,” Eastburn said.
Defense officials said the flight test took place over the weekend and the Chinese could conduct additional tests since the announced period of sea and air closures in the region is in effect until Wednesday. – READ MORE