US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the press prior to talks with the Polish Foreign Minister at the State Department in Washington, DC, on February 17, 2016. AFP / Nicholas Kamm
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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has slammed China for its increased "militarization" in the strategically important South China Sea, after Beijing deployed surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island there.A U.S. official told AFP that China has deployed surface-to-air missiles on Woody Island, part of the Paracel Islands chain.Fox News first reported missile launchers and a radar system had arrived on Woody Island in recent days, referring to satellite imagery.Tensions in the sea -- through which a third of the world's oil passes -- have mounted in recent months since China transformed contested reefs in the Spratly islands further south into artificial islands capable of supporting military facilities.On Tuesday, Obama called for "tangible steps" to lower tensions in the South China Sea.
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