By Ben Blanchard BEIJING (Reuters) - China "really needs" its defences in the South China Sea in the face of a militarisation process being pushed by the United States, and can deploy whatever equipment it wants on its own soil, China's Defence Ministry said on Thursday. China and the United States have sparred repeatedly over the past week following reports China is deploying advanced missiles, fighters and radar equipment on islands in the South China Sea, especially on Woody Island in the Paracels. The United States has accused China of militarising the disputed waters. Beijing, for its part, has been angered by "freedom of navigation" air and sea patrols the United States has conducted near islands China claims in the South China Sea. Those have included one by two B-52 strategic bombers in November and by a U.S. Navy destroyer that sailed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island in the Paracels last month. "The United States is the real promoter of the militarisation of the South China Sea," defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian told a regular monthly news briefing. "China's construction of military facilities on the islands and reefs of the South China Sea is really needed." The Paracel Islands are China's "inherent territory", he added. "It is China's legitimate right to deploy defence facilities within our own territory, no matter in the past or at present, no matter temporarily or permanently, no matter what equipment it is," Wu said. People are being "dazzled" by the endless hyping up by U.S. media of equipment China is deploying in the South China Sea, he added. "One minute it's air defence missiles, then radars, then various types of aircraft - who knows what tomorrow will bring in terms of new equipment being hyped up." Even the Americans have said some of this equipment had been placed there in the past, Wu said. China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion in global trade passes every year. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have rival claims. This week, coinciding with a visit to Washington by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Admiral Harry Harris, head of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Command, said the U.S. would step up freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea and that China was trying to militarily dominate East Asia. Wu said the U.S. was employing double standards, asking why U.S. patrols in the South China Sea should not also be considered militarisation. There has been speculation that China might declare an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea, similar to one it declared over the East China Sea in late 2013, to anger from Japan and the United States. Asked if this was the case, Wu repeated the ministry's previous line that it had every right to do so, but the move would depend on the level of aerial threat China faced. "There are all sorts of factors that need consideration," Wu said, without elaborating. In Hanoi, a Vietnamese official said the militarisation of the South China Sea was a very serious issue. "Irrespective of the opposition and concern voiced by Vietnam and the international community, China continues to take actions that not only violate Vietnam's sovereignty, accelerate militarization of the East Sea, but also threaten peace and stability," foreign media spokesman Le Hai Binh told a briefing, employing the name Vietnam uses for the South China Sea. Annual trade between the communist neighbours exceeds $60 billion, but anti-China sentiment is strong in Vietnam, where people are embittered over what many see as a history of Chinese bullying and territorial infringements in the South China Sea. (Additional reporting by Martin Petty in HANOI; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
New police body camera footage captured a visibly distraught Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito and her fiancé after an alleged physical altercation between them on a
View this post on Instagram A post shared by DUA LIPA (@dualipa) Dua Lipa's latest outfit begs the question . .
- NBC Sports Washington
Umpire Tim Timmons heard enough from the Orioles grounds crew, kicking them off the field during the final inning Wednesday night.
Blac Chyna said this week that she "absolutely" wants more kids but she has to "make some more money" first
- The Week
Why is Trump the only ex-president willing to say the truth about Bush?
This is a very precarious situation.
An attorney for Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito's fiancé, said it was "an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family."
- Good Housekeeping
WHAT A LOOK. 🔥🔥🔥
- Charlotte Observer
NASCAR is experimenting with the Clash at the Coliseum next year. Here’s what else is being added.
- MMA Junkie
Jake Paul makes another play at fighting Jorge Masvidal and asks Dana White, "Why you so scared to get embarrassed?"
- Ravens Wire
The Ravens made four roster moves on Wednesday, including promoting two veterans to the active roster
- The Telegraph
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have posed together for their first magazine cover shoot, groomed to near-flawlessness by Hollywood’s finest stylists for a celebration of them as “equal partners”.
- Scary Mommy
Earlier this month, a twelve-year-old boy in Kerala’s Kozhikode district in India died from the Nipah virus, a virus that most people probably never heard of. A virus that, according to experts, has the potential to become another global pandemic with a significantly higher death toll. Approximately 70 percent of people who are infected with 
- The Telegraph
Brooks Koepka should pull out of Ryder Cup and give spot to someone who would love to play, says Paul Azinger
Paul Azinger, one of only two US captains to have won the Ryder Cup this century, has told Brooks Koepka that he should pull out of next week’s match and “give up his place to someone who would love to play”.
- Good Housekeeping
Whew, that's a BOLD look.
- Business Insider
Trump was fixated on the Navy's new supercarrier and ranted to military leaders that the ship 'just doesn't look right': book
"I have an eye for aesthetics," President Donald Trump said while ruffling his hair, according to Woodward and Costa's new book. "Can't you tell?"
- In The Know by Yahoo
TikToker sparks generational debate with video comparing a ‘Gen Z table’ to a ‘boomer table’: ‘It’s a respect thing’
Should you clean your own table at a restaurant? That question is sparking a generational debate on TikTok, thanks to one customer’s viral video.
- Miami Herald
In an instant, a photographer caught a terrifyingly rare sight: a shark attacking a surfer off the Florida coast last week.
"It's really about how I feel. I feel great," Pioneer Woman's Ree Drummond said of her health and wellness journey
- USA TODAY
The new property owner announced plans to renovate the property and put it back on the market after evicting all the current residents.