Aug 21, 2020 / 11:01

Vietnam protests China’s bomber deployment to Paracel islands

The Hanoitimes - The Vietnamese foreign ministry said deploying weapons and fighter jets to the Paracels not only violates Vietnam’s sovereignty but also complicates the situation in the East Sea.

Vietnam has voiced objection to China deploying one of its modern bombers to Hoang Sa (Paracel) islands, saying that the act has violated the former’s sovereignty and jeopardized stability in the South China Sea.

 Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the press meeting on August 20, Hanoi. Photo: Minh Tuan

Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said made the protest on Thursday during a regular press briefing in response to a request for comment on the alleged dispatch of China’s Xian H-6J jet to Phu Lam (Woody) Island, part of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa islands.
 
“That parties bring weapons and fighter jets to the Paracels not only violates Vietnam’s sovereignty but also complicates the situation in the East Sea,” Hang said, referring to the South China Sea.

The spokesperson reasserted that Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos are inseparable part of Vietnam’s territory. “Vietnam has full legal basis and historical evidence to affirm its sovereignty over the two island chains, in accordance with international law.”

China seized the Paracel Islands from what was then South Vietnam by force in 1974, and has been illegally occupying and militarizing it since then.

“We call on all parties involved to responsibly contribute to the maintenance of peace, stability and security in the East Sea,” Hang said.

 A H-6 strategic bomber. Photo: eng.chinamil.com.cn

US-based The Drive earlier this month posted photos circulated on social media indicating that at least one H-6J bomber was seen landed on the Paracels. This was the first time the bomber has been deployed on the island.

China’s state-run Global Times on August 13 reported that the deployment of the H-6J “will enable the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) to suppress and jam provocative US military activities in the region, and its weapons load, potentially including anti-ship ballistic missiles, provides a huge deterrence to US aircraft carriers.”