Vietnam Has Secretly Armed Its Own Islands In South China Sea Within Striking Distance Of Chinese Bases
The missiles reportedly have a range of up to 93 miles and and can carry 150g warheads that can attack multiple targets at once. Carl Thayer, an official at the Australian Defense Force Academy specializing in Vietnam’s military, states that Vietnam sees China’s recent militarization of the area as a direct threat to their country and that the missile launchers are defensive in nature. Vice reported a statement made by Thayer on the issue:
“China’s runways and military installations in the Spratlys are a direct challenge to Vietnam, particularly in their southern waters and skies, and they are showing they are prepared to respond to that threat.”Thayer went on to state that it is highly unlikely that the Chinese will view the move as anything but an offensive threat. Vietnamese diplomats and military officials have reported to Reuters that the missile launchers are not currently operation but could retrofitted with rocket artillery rounds within two or three days if needed.
Many Western officials believe that the recent move by Vietnam will increase tensions in the area.