Pentagon calls for parties to halt militarization of South China Sea

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 17, 2016 6:31 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Defense Department on Wednesday said commercial imagery indicated that China had deployed a surface-to-air missile system on a disputed outpost in the South China Sea, and said the action was increasing tensions in the region.

The Pentagon urged all countries that have staked claims to disputed areas in the region to address their territorial and maritime claims in accordance with international law, and to commit to peacefully manage or resolve their disputes.

"We call on South China Sea claimants to publicly commit to a reciprocal halt to further land reclamation, construction of new facilities, and new militarization of disputed features," said Navy Commander Bill Urban, a spokesman for the Pentagon.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chris Reese)