metromanila.politics.com.ph

Erice on reports of Chinese missiles in Spratlys: It’s tantamount to invasion

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Caloocan City second-district Rep. Edgar Erice expressed alarm at reports that China has installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three of its outposts in the South China Sea.

He said China’s actions was practically an invasion of Philippine territory.

“The installation of armament in the disputed island is not just security threat but tantamount to invading our country,” the Magnificent 7 lawmaker said.

Erice said the Philippines should invoke the Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States in dealing with the Chinese threat.

“We can seek the help of the US as contained in our defense treaty,” he said.

Under President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines has pivoted closer to China than traditional allies like the United States, and softened its claims on disputed islands within its economic zone.

Citing sources with direct knowledge of US intelligence reports, US news network CNBC reported on Wednesday that China has installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three of its outposts in the South China Sea.

Though unconfirmed, this was the first report of Chinese missile deployments in the Spratlys, where neighboring Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines have competing claims, along with China which claims nearly the entire sea.