by Staff Writers
Hanoi (AFP) Feb 19, 2016
Vietnam on Friday hit out at China's deployment of missiles on a disputed island chain, saying Beijing had "seriously violated" its sovereignty as international censure mounted over the apparent militarisation of the hotly-contested zone.
Chinese state media on Thursday confirmed the presence of unspecified weapons on Woody Island, part of the Paracels chain.
The admission came after Fox News reported that surface-to-air weapons had arrived there in the past week -- although Chinese media suggested they have been in place for longer.
Vietnamese authorities handed "a note of objection" to the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi on Friday, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"These were moves that seriously violated Vietnam's sovereignty over the Hoang Sa archipelagoes," spokesperson Le hai Binh said Friday, using the Vietnamese name for the Paracels.
"Threatening peace and stability in the region as well as security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation. Vietnam requests China to immediately end those wrongful acts."
China claims all of the Paracels, though Hanoi and Taipei have overlapping claims.
Earlier on Friday Australia urged China to refrain from the "militarisation of islands", a day after the United States slammed Beijing for deploying missiles in the disputed South China Sea.
Tensions in the sea -- through which a third of the world's oil passes -- have mounted in recent months after China transformed contested reefs in the Spratly islands further south into artificial islands capable of supporting military facilities.
Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines also lay claim to parts of the sea.
US President Barack Obama this week hosted Southeast Asian leaders for a summit.
The US wants to shore-up its regional alliances with a view to avoiding flashpoints in the seas and keeping shipping lanes open.
The US and Australia have carried out several so-called "Freedom of Navigation" overflights and sail-bys in the region, which China has described as "provocations".
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|