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EghtesadOnline: China's deployment of necessary defensive military equipment on the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea was legitimate and lawful, its defense ministry said on Thursday.

The ministry made the comment on its official microblog, according to Reuters.

On Wednesday, a U.S. think tank reported that China appeared to have installed weapons, including anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, on all seven of the artificial islands it has built in the busy waterway, citing new satellite imagery.

South China Sea military equipment Spratly Islands