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"According to reports, the missiles are located in Zamora Reef (Subi), Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross), and Panganiban Reef (Mischief) which are approximately just 13 nautical miles (nm), 103 nm, and 117 nm away from Pag-asa Island, respectively", said the Marine captain-turned congressman.

With its rich fisheries and oil and gas potential, the South China Sea has been a source of contention for decades.

According to sources close to the United States intelligence, the recent missiles were installed by the Chinese military in the last 30 days in the disputed South China Sea.

Deputy assistant secretary for south-east Asia, Joseph Felter, dismissed the Chinese foreign ministry's claim that any country that had no "invasive intention" did not need to worry about the defence facilities on the islands.

"We are concerned with the reported China's missile deployments over the contested areas in the West Philippine Sea", Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said in a statement.

The Spratly archipelago in the South China sea Islands which is recognized for its China, Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia. According to a report in CNBC, China has made the move quietly to project its power in of the most disputed zones in global affairs and it cited sources that have direct knowledge of USA intelligence reports.

China's defence ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

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While confident that the administration's friendship with China ensures the missiles will not be used against Filipinos, Malacañang said the Philippines will still address the issue through "diplomatic means".

The new weapons systems were reportedly installed at three outposts across the Spratly Islands.

"China, of course, has a unique responsibility as a permanent member of the Security Council, to uphold peace and security around the world".

A news report aired by CNBC said the YJ-12B anti-ship cruise missiles allowed China to strike vessels within 295 nautical miles.

"Relevant deployment is not directed against any country".

Last month, U.S. Admiral Philip Davidson, nominated to head U.S. Pacific Command, said China could use its "forward operating bases" in the South China Sea to challenge the U.S. regional presence and "would easily overwhelm the military forces of any other South China Sea claimants".


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