In the latest in a series of moves that is likely to stoke already heated tensions in the South China Sea, Beijing has sent fighter jets to an island where it has deployed surface-to-air missile batteries, U.S. media said Tuesday.

Citing U.S. officials, Fox News reported that Chinese Shenyang J-11s and Xian JH-7s fighter jets had been spotted over the past few days by U.S. intelligence on Woody Island in the Paracel chain. The isle is where Beijing has deployed HQ-9 missiles, which have a range of about 200 km.

News of the fighter jet deployment came as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington to discuss the South China Sea issue as well as North Korea's recent nuclear and rocket tests.