It has come to pass that China has started the militarization of the South China Sea with the deployment of a missile system on Woody Isle in the Parcels Islands, where there are disputes and conflicting claims to the territory by nations including the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.
Press reports earlier today cited United States(US) and Taiwanese officials as confirming China's deployment of the missiles along with a radar system, in a region where China has alleged it would not use for military purposes. Despite China's claim that there would be no militarization of the disputed isles, the Philippines has been sounding the alarm of China's true intentions on the South China Sea: expansion.
Amid the warnings from the Philippines and complaints from Vietnam, western nations have urged "restraint" on the disputed sea, where billions of dollars of trade navigate each year, while China has continued major reclamation and air strip projects on the said contested rocks and shoals.
US Navy operations to uphold freedom of navigation in the region and sailing within 12-nautical miles of disputed isles, have not deterred China. Satellite images today have confirmed at least two-batteries of eight-missile launchers on Woody isle. Thus, China has started the militarization of the South China Sea and the vastness and scope of this action appear immeasurable today.