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Spokeperson: Vietnam to verify China’s missile base deployment near its border

Rosy Huong Rosy Huong

huongthhd@gmail.com

February 05, 2021 | 07:18

Vietnam will verify whether China is completing a surface-to-air missile base about 20 km away from the Vietnamese border, said Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang.

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A satellite image showing what looks like a missile base in China's Ningming County in early 2021. Photo by South China Sea News.

Vietnam will verify whether China is completing a surface-to-air missile base about 20 km away from the Vietnamese border, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said Thursday.

"We will verify the information," foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at a press meet, responding to an inquiry about China deploying an anti-air missile base near Vietnam.

The Twitter account of the South China Sea News, an NGO that seeks to promote better understanding and study of South China Sea issues, recently posted a satellite image showing a formation of surface-to-air missiles, which is gradually being completed in Ningming County of China's Guangxi Province, about 20 km away from the Vietnamese border.

The image showed the presence of radars and at least six launchers along a military runway. Satellite data revealed that the base had been built since June 2019, according to VnExpress.

Another structure, suspected to be a helicopter base, is also being built about 60 km away from the Vietnamese border, the NGO said.

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Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang. — Photo from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Regarding China’s new coast guard law that entered into force on February 1 – which controversially allows the Chinese coast guards to use weapons on foreign actors at sea when they deem national sovereignty or jurisdiction are being violated, Hang said that any country has the responsibility to observe international laws and agreements that they are a part of – especially 1982 UNCLOS – in the promulgation and implementation of domestic laws regarding the seas.

She also reiterated that Vietnam has sufficient historical evidence and legal basis to assert its sovereignty over the Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) islands in line with international law – as well as sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction over the seas based on the 1982 UNCLOS.

She added that Vietnam is “determined and persistent” in pursuing measures that are in line with international law to protect its legitimate and legal rights, Viet Nam News reported.

Vietnam asks that all other countries respect the country’s sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction in the South China Sea (Bien Dong Sea), and should refrain from activities that threaten to escalate the situation./.

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Rosy Huong