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Pentagon calls for parties to halt militarization of South China Sea
February 17, 2016 / 11:33 PM / in 2 years

Pentagon calls for parties to halt militarization of South China Sea

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015. REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters

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

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