China has the right to install necessary defense facilities and station troops on the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea as they are Chinese territory, a Chinese defense ministry spokesman said Tuesday.
"Installing necessary defense facilities and stationing troops on the Nansha Islands are conducive to maintaining China's sovereignty and security as well as safeguarding free and safe passage of the South China Sea and maintaining regional stability and peace. It does not target any country," said Ren Guoqiang, spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense.
Ren's remarks came after international media reported China has stepped up military construction on the islands.
US officials said that China has installed equipment on two of its fortified outposts that is capable of jamming communications and radar systems, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.