Beijing has launched two medium-range missiles into the South China Sea in a scathing warning to the United States, as tensions between the superpowers soar, triggering World War 3 fears in the region. The move came on Wednesday morning, one day after China said a US U-2 spy plane entered a no-fly zone without permission. A source close to the Chinese military is understood to have told local media the missile launch was intended to send a warning to the United States.
The missiles were launched towards the Paracel Islands and the south-east of the Hainan province to the south of the Chinese mainland.
A source told the South China Morning Post: "This is China's response to the potential risks brought by the increasingly frequent incoming US warplanes and military vessels in the South China Sea.
"China doesn't want the neighbouring countries to misunderstand Beijing's goals."
It is also understood the missiles were aimed at showcasing China's ability to deny any force entering the South China Sea.