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China Condemns Deployment of US Missiles in The Philippines

Published: June 3, 2024
(Image: U.S. soldiers participate in the live fire exercise during the annual joint military exercises between U.S. and Philippine troops called "Balikatan" or shoulder-to-shoulder, at Laoag, Ilocos Norte, Philippines, May 6, 2024. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez/File Photo)

The Defense Ministry of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) strongly condemned the deployment of a U.S. intermediate-range missile system in the northern Philippines, saying it “brought huge risks of war into the region.” The missiles were installed during military drills in April.

On May 30 (Thursday), Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian told a press briefing in Beijing that the PRC remained highly vigilant about and opposed the deployment in the Indo-Pacific region.

Wu stated that “the United States and Philippine practices put the entire region under the fire of the United States (and) brought huge risks of war into the region,” adding it “seriously undermined” regional peace.

“Intermediate-range missiles are strategic and offensive weapons with a strong Cold War color,” he added.

Communist China deploys its own advanced intermediate-range missiles as part of an extensive conventional ballistic missile arsenal.

The U.S. said last month it had deployed its Typhon missile system to the Philippines as part of their Balikatan or “shoulder-to-shoulder” military drills.

Philippine military official Col. Michael Logico said in April that the missile system was brought to Laoag city, in the northern Philippines. The system can fire Tomahawk land attack and SM-6 missiles.

Col. Logico confirmed on Friday that the missile system remains in the Philippines, even though he did not specify where it is deployed and for how long it will stay in the country.

The annual drills involved around 16,000 Filipinos and U.S. soldiers, some of which were staged in northern Philippine islands near Taiwan.

 The area is located in western waters facing the South China Sea, where China is in constant dispute with the Philippines and other regional claimants.

Philippine and U.S. officials had said the exercises were meant to improve interoperability between their forces and were not directed specifically at any third country.

Reuters contributed to this report.