News / Asia

    Vietnam Protests China's Paracels Missile Deployment

    FILE - This file aerial view taken on July 27, 2012, shows part of the city of Sansha on the island of Yongxing, also known as Woody island in the disputed Paracel chain, which China now considers part of Hainan province.
    FILE - This file aerial view taken on July 27, 2012, shows part of the city of Sansha on the island of Yongxing, also known as Woody island in the disputed Paracel chain, which China now considers part of Hainan province.

    Vietnam lodged a formal protest Friday against China's deployment of surface-to-air missiles to the disputed Paracel Islands chain in the South China Sea.

    Citing "serious infringements of Vietnam's sovereignty over the Paracels," Hanoi's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh released a statement describing letters his department issued to China's Vietnamese embassy and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

    China's state-run Global Times newspaper on Thursday confirmed the presence of unspecified weapons on Woody Island, part of the Paracels chain.

    Vietnam is calling on the UN to condemn Beijing's move, saying it "threatens peace and stability in the region as well as security, safety and freedom of navigation and flight." The call comes a day after Vietnamese officials were criticized for not responding quickly to Beijing's revelation about the weapons.

    The Chinese government claims a legitimate right to military facilities on the territory, which it views as its own. Although Woody Island is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam, in 1974, the then-South Vietnamese government suffered a naval loss to China in a battle over the Paracels.

    Woody Island, in the Paracel Island chain
    Woody Island, in the Paracel Island chain

    China's long-standing control of the Paracels contrasts with other disputed territories in the region, such as the Spratly Islands, which lie some 740 kilometers southeast of Woody Island.

    "Vietnam's reaction is not strong enough amid China's assertion and militarization within Vietnam's sovereignty," Professor Tuong Lai, a South China Sea analyst who served as an adviser to the late prime minister Vo Van Kiet, told VOA Vietnamese on Friday.

    "Washington's role in the South China Sea issue is very important. The U.S. needs to bolster its military presence in the region to help maintain peace and stability," he added. "Vietnam has to rally support from ASEAN, the U.S. and the international community against Chinese aggression rather than verbal protests."

    During a recent meeting with President Barack Obama on the sidelines of this week's ASEAN summit in California, Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged Washington to play a greater role in preventing militarization and island-building in the South China Sea, the government said Tuesday.

    This report was produced in collaboration with VOA's Vietnamese Service.

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    Comment Sorting
    by: John from: San Diego
    February 21, 2016 2:57 PM
    Vietnam should look to South Korea about nuke development against a regional bully and aggressor (china),

    by: Seato
    February 21, 2016 10:27 AM
    America's victory over Japan in 1945 put an end to Imperial Japan's aggression in Asia, but has unwitting cleared the way for an even more evil,wicked and territorially ambitious China.The USA, Japan and other western superpowers should challenge China on the issues of sovereignty and territorial integrity.We can not let the Chinese use force and threats to impose sovereignty over areas which rightfully belong to other countries.China has been expanding its military machines to prepare themselves for their greatest war of conquest,we therefore should take realistic and strong military measures to show them that we are prepared to confront them and defeat them if they don't give up their acts of intimidation and aggression.America,Japan,Australia and India should maintain permanent naval and aerial presence in the Sea of Japan and South China Sea to help safeguard the freedom of navigation and also to make sure that the Chinese would not drive other foreign ships,planes and nationals out of the areas through piracy acts.Vietnam at the forefront of these conflicts, should form some mutual alliance with America and Japan before they lose all their Exclusive Economic Zone and the Spratly islands to China.South China Sea is international waters and China should not be allowed to claim it as their own and do as they please.China's territorial ambitions and aggression must be thwarted before it is too late !

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