Vietnam joins Philippines in war of words against China island building

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Vietnam has joined the Philippines in condemning China’s attempts to build islands in the East Sea in what analysts say could be yet another futile verbal effort to stop Beijing.
“Vietnam resolutely opposes China’s illegal construction projects that jeopardize the status quo on the Truong Sa Archipelago,” Pham Thu Hang, deputy foreign ministry spokeswoman, said at a press briefing Thursday, using the Vietnamese name for the Spratly islands.
“We demand that China immediately stop such reclamation work and not repeat similar wrongful actions,” she said, reiterating that Hanoi has indisputable sovereignty over the Spratly and Hoang Sa (Paracel) island chains in the East Sea, also known as the South China Sea.
Since August, after withdrawing from Vietnamese waters the infamous oil rig that bedeviled Sino-Vietnamese ties, China has continued to pursue a number of land reclamation works around small islands in the Spratlys.
The Philippines has since last year accused Beijing of reclamation work in the Cuarteron, Johnson, Johnson South and Gaven reefs also in the Spratlys.
On Thursday Philippine foreign secretary Albert del Rosario repeated a warning that Beijing was reclaiming land around isolated reefs to turn them into islands which could hold fortified positions or even airstrips, AFP reported.

 

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