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According to Taiwanese and US officials “China has deployed an advanced surface-to-air missile system on one of the disputed islands it controls in the South China Sea”

“The deployment of missiles to the Paracels would not be a surprise but would be a concern, and be contrary to China’s pledge not to militarise the region, said Commander of the US Pacific Command Admiral Harry Harris.

“We will conduct more, and more complex, freedom of navigation operations as time goes on in the South China Sea,” Mr Harris told a briefing in Tokyo. “We have no intention of stopping.”

Taiwanese defence ministry spokesman Major General David Lo said no other details of the deployment could be disclosed and said Taiwan’s military would “closely watch subsequent developments”.

“Interested parties should work together to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea region and refrain from taking any unilateral measures that would increase tensions,” he said.