To make this website work, we log user data. By using Shephard's online services, you agree to our Privacy Policy, including cookie policy.

Open menu Search

Hanoi demands Beijing withdraw missiles from disputed islands

9th May 2018 - 15:24 GMT | by ​Agence France-Presse in Hanoi


Hanoi has demanded Beijing remove military equipment from contested islands in the South China Sea, saying reported missile installations are a ‘serious violation’ of Vietnam's sovereignty.

The warning follows a report from US network CNBC recently that China had installed anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles on the Spratly Islands, an archipelago in the resource-rich waterway also claimed by Vietnam.

Hanoi called the latest moves a threat to peace and asserted Vietnam's historical and legal rights to the islands, which it calls the Truong Sa islands.

Le Thi Thu Hang, Vietnam’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, said: ‘Vietnam requests China... not to militarise (and) withdraw military equipment that were illegally deployed on structures under Vietnam's sovereignty.’

Vietnam and China have long sparred over who owns what in the South China Sea, which is believed to hold oil and gas deposits.

Tensions reached a fever pitch in 2014 when China moved an oil rig into waters claimed by Hanoi.

That sparked violent protests in Vietnam, though much of the wrangling between the communist neighbours over the disputed waterway has taken place behind closed doors since then.

The Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei also have claims in the sea, but Vietnam has remained the most vocal opponent to Beijing's build up in the waterway.

China hit back after Hanoi's demand to remove the missiles, with foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang telling reporters on 9 May, China has ‘indisputable sovereignty’ over the islands – which it calls the Nansha islands – and surrounding waters.

Washington recently warned Beijing of unspecified ‘consequences’ over its militarisation of the disputed waterway.

​Agence France-Presse


​Agence France-Presse


Read full bio

Share to