South China Sea tensions on the brink: Vietnam lashes out at build-up of Chinese bombers

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Vietnam has hit out at the continued presence of military personnel on the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. The islands have been claimed by several states with Vietnam warning the move by China “jeopardises” peace in the area. Although Vietnam did not state when the bomber arrived on the islands, foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang claimed it threatened the state’s sovereignty.

She added: “The fact that relevant sides sent weapons and bombers.

“Not only violates Vietnam’s sovereignty but also jeopardises the situation in the area.”

Vietnamese media reported Beijing had deployed a H-6J bomber to the islands, although there has been an increased build up of several Chinese military equipment in the region. 

The Paracel and Spratly islands have been claimed by Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam.

However, under Xi Jinping’s One China policy, the islands remain within the state’s historical claims.

This week, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) completed live-fire drills in the East China Sea.

The drills had been carried out over three days in the region in what will be considered a sign of its strength against Taiwan.

According to the PLA’s Eastern Theatre Command, the drills were conducted around Taiwan.

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Like the Spratly Islands, Taiwan is claimed by Beijing under Xi’s policy.

An official report stated: “The training laid a solid foundation for winning a battle, while polishing the troops’ combat capability.”

These live-fire drills came as the US Navy sent another ship through the Strait of Taiwan.

The US continued to conduct these exercises in order to illustrate its support for Taiwan’s independence and the freedom of the region.


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A statement from the US Navy said: “The US 7th Fleet which is headquartered in Japan conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of US national interests in the Indo-Pacific area of operations.

“As the US Navy’s largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict.”

The USS Mustin is the seventh to pass through the Taiwan Strait this year.

The respective shows of force by the two states, comes as China issued a warning to America over US Health Secretary, Alex Azar’s visit to the autonomous island.

Due to the first high-level trip by a US official since 1979, China warned peace in the region may now be jeopardised.

Chinese military official, colonel Ren Guoqiang said: “The US should realise that China must and will be reunified, and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation must and will be achieved.

“These actions have sent extremely wrong messages to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities.

“We urge the US side to immediately correct its mistake, stop its official and military contacts of any form with Taiwan, earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communique, and promise that no similar incident would occur again.

“Taiwan is an inalienable part of China.

“The future of Taiwan lies in reunification and the welfare of the Taiwan compatriots lies in national rejuvenation.”

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