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South China Sea WARNING: Vietnam issues scathing threat as Beijing ‘jeopardises peace
08-28-2020, 10:49 PM
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South China Sea WARNING: Vietnam issues scathing threat as Beijing ‘jeopardises peace
South China Sea WARNING: Vietnam issues scathing threat as Beijing ‘jeopardises peace'

TENSIONS in the South China Sea have escalated again after Vietnam issue a scathing threat against Beijing sending bombers to the hotly contested region which Hanoi warned "jeopardised" peace.

China has claimed almost all of the 1.3 million square mile region as its sovereign territory.

However, the South China Sea faces rival ownership claims from other nations including Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan.

Now, Vietnam’s foreign ministry warned the presence of Chinese bombers on the Paracel Islands “jeopardise peace”.

Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi The Hang said: “The fact that relevant sides sent weapons and bombers… not only violates Vietnam’s sovereignty but also jeopardise the situation in the area.”

According to reports, China has recently deployed fighter jets and at least one bomber, the H-6J, to the islands.

Since seizing the Paracels in 1974, China has built military installations on the islands.

Last month, China’s defence ministry spokesman Ron Guoqiang said H-6G and H-6J bombers had participated in high intensity training in the area.

These included take-off and landing exercises, long distance strikes and hitting targets above the surface of the sea.

Over recent months, the Communist nation has built military facilities in both the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands - increasing tensions in the region.

The US military has regularly challenged China’s occupation of these features with so-called Freedom of Navigation operations.

But Beijing has argued these operations violate its sovereignty over the region.

Despite having no claims in the region, the US has increased its military presence as tensions between Beijing and Washington increase.

Last month, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, rejected China’s claims over the region arguing they are completely unlawful.

In a statement issued, Mr Pompeo said: “Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them.

“The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire.

“America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources, constant with their rights and obligations under international law.”

The Chinese Embassy in Washington lashed out at Mr Pompeo’s comments and called the accusations “unjustified”.

They argued the US distorts the facts and international law while exaggerating the situation in the region in order to sow discord between the nations.

Beijing accused Washington of “stirring up tension and inciting confrontation” in the region despite not being directly involved in the disputes.

In May, the US Air Force and Marines conducted training exercises in the area with three submarines joining ships and aircraft in the nearby Philippine Sea.

The actions were thought to be a reaction to Chinese harassment of ships drilling for resources in nearby waters.

Tensions between the nations goes further back as in April three US ships joined the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Parramatta and sailed to the region to demonstrate a commitment to keeping the sea open.

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