>> A warning from Washington after news Beijing has deployed missiles into South China Sea. US Network CNBC reported earlier that Beijing has set up anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles on the Spratly Islands. If it's true, it would be China's first missile deployment to the disputed island chain. White House Spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said America was ready to take action.
>> We're well aware of China's militarization of the South China Sea. We've raised concerns directly with the Chinese about this, and there will be near term and long term consequences.>> China has been building up its military presence in the South China Sea for years, in spite of protests from other Asian countries who also have claims in the region.
Beijing says it has, quote, irrefutable sovereignty over the Spratly Islands, and its actions are purely in the interest of national security. But one US expert called the missile deployment a major escalation, and said Beijing wasn't likely to stop there. Meanwhile in another dispute between China and the US is brewing in Djibouti, on the horn of Africa.
The pentagon accuses Chinese nationals of pointing lasers at a American military aircraft. One US officials telling Reuters that two pilots have actually suffered eye injuries as a result. This source said that some of the assault used military grade lasers, and came from a Chinese base just miles from the US base.
The Pentagon is demanding that Beijing investigate.