- Palace has expressed ‘concern’ over the reported deployment of missiles by China to West PH Sea
- Roque said the Duterte government will explore all diplomatic means to address the issue
- The official is also confident those missiles are not directed at the Philippines
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang Palace has expressed ‘concern’ over the reported deployment of missiles by the Chinese military to the 3 disputed reefs in the West Philippine Sea.
“We are concerned with the reported China’s missile deployments over the contested areas in the West Philippine Sea,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a statement on Friday.
Roque was referring to a report by CNBC which stated China has installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems to Fiery Cross (Kagitingan) Reef, Subi (Zamora) Reef and Mischief Panganiban Reef in the Spratly Islands.
The Malacañang official said, however, he is confident that the missiles are not directed at the Philippines.
“With our recently developed close relationship and friendship with China, we are confident that those missiles are not directed at us,” Roque told reporters.
He also assured the Duterte government will exhaust all diplomatic channels to address the matter.
“Be that as it may, we would explore all diplomatic means to address this issue,” said Roque.
CNBC in its article published on Thursday cited US intelligence reports about the missile deployment which, Gregory Poling, Center for Strategic and International Studies fellow and director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, described as a “clear offensive threat.”
While this was the first time that a missile platform has been deployed by China to Spratlys, a similar system has already been installed in Paracel Island which is being contested by Vietnam.