WASHINGTON: The White House warned Beijing on Thursday, saying there will be consequences for its growing militarization in the South China Sea.
This comes after China quietly installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three outposts in the disputed region.
This would, in all probability, allow Beijing to further project its power in the South China Sea.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that the United States has concerns regarding the issue.
"We're well aware of China's militarization of the South China Sea. There will be near-term and long-term consequences, and we'll certainly keep you up to date," she was quoted as saying by CNN.
According to the U.S. intelligence reports, Chinese military had deployed missiles to three artificial islands during recent military drills on the contested sea, CNN reported.
The South China Sea is one of the most contested regions in the world. China, the Philippines, and Vietnam, among several others, have overlapping territorial claims on the sea.
China, in 2016 declared that it had already deployed similar weapons to Woody Island in the Paracel Islands, on the northwestern edge of the South China Sea.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying earlier said, her nation has been involved in peaceful construction in the islands and such relevant deployments target no one.