GettyXi Jinping has allegedly fitted the outposts in the contested area with anti-ship cruise missiles
Xi Jinping has allegedly fitted the outposts in the contested area with anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems.
Greg Poling, an expert with specialist knowledge on the South China Sea, declared such a move from the Asian superstate would be an “implicit threat”.
He explained: "These would be the first missiles in the Spratly Islands, either surface to air, or anti-ship.
"Before this, if you were one of the other claimants you knew that China was monitoring your every move.
"Now you will know that you're operating inside Chinese missile range.
“That's a pretty strong, if implicit, threat."
The sources understood to have detailed the move insisted such missiles have been moved to the Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef.
The actions are believed to have taken place within the last month.
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Commandos carry equiptment as they march in an extreme training exercises
The YJ-12B anti-ship cruise missiles alleged to have been placed in the outposts are capable to striking vessels from 339