Vietnam expanding South China Sea runway: U.S. think tank

A ship (top) of the Chinese Coast Guard is seen near a ship of the Vietnam Marine Guard in the South China Sea, about 210 km (130 miles) off shore of Vietnam May 14, 2014. REUTERS/Nguyen Minh/File Photo

A ship (top) of the Chinese Coast Guard is seen near a ship of the Vietnam Marine Guard in the South China Sea, about 210 km (130 miles) off shore of Vietnam May 14, 2014. REUTERS/Nguyen Minh/File Photo

Vietnam is extending a runway on an island it claims in the South China Sea in apparent response to China’s building of military facilities on artificial islands in the region, a U.S. think tank reported on Thursday.

Satellite images taken this month showed Vietnam had lengthened its runway on Spratly Island from less than 2,500 feet (760 meters) to more than 3,300 feet (1 km), Washington’s Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative said.

AMTI, a project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, said continued reclamation work would likely mean the runway was extended to more than 4,000 feet (1.2 km).

It said the upgraded runway would be able to accommodate maritime surveillance aircraft and transport planes, as well as combat aircraft.

The report said Vietnam had added about 57 acres (23 hectares) of land to Spratly Island in recent years, but its reclamation work remained modest by Chinese standards.

China has built military-length runways on three artificial islands it has built up in the South China Sea since 2013.

Reuters reported in August that Vietnam had discreetly fortified several of its islands in the disputed South China Sea with mobile rocket launchers capable of striking China’s runways and military installations across the vital trade route.

Military analysts said the deployment of the launchers was the most significant defensive move Vietnam has made on its holdings in the South China Sea in decades and it underscored Hanoi’s concerns about China’s assertive pursuit of territorial claims in the disputed region.

Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry has called the information “inaccurate”, without elaborating.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by James Dalgleish)

Source: Reuters “Vietnam expanding South China Sea runway: U.S. think tank”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


3 Comments on “Vietnam expanding South China Sea runway: U.S. think tank”

  1. Steve says:

    Reuters is just fanning the flames to stir up the SCS. The turbulent waves are subsiding. Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia are starting a slow process of pivoting to China. China holds the trump card, it’s Japan and US blowing hot air in the SCS, ECS.


  2. Simon says:

    No doubt during the Cold War America gave tacit approval of Chinese navy driving away Vietnamese occupation of the Paracel. The harder the yanks tries to oppose China the worse America will be marginalised in the future were China reigns supreme. Rather than using the opportunity to engage and accommodate the Chinese for a win win relations the Americans are digging themselves a deeper hole all the time till one day they fell into it and cant climb out. The space program is an example with the Americans imposed a sanction against China it now face the fact they cant even send anyone into space without Russia and looking ahead into the near future China may close the door to co-operation with America in space because of how they behaved towards China.


  3. Eastern Looking Glass says:

    Implicit in the report is that it is ok for Vietnam to build artificial islands and extend the runways on it but not so when China does the same. Note the selective words used when reporting on China .. All alarmist and scare-mongering words and comments. When Vietnam militarize to defend itself against China, it is ok but when China militarize to defend itself against a foreign intruder into Cinese waters like the hostile alien Amerika, note the cicken little “the sky is falling!” alrms going off everywhere in their reporting. Such hypocrites, the Americans! Where is their confidence. their leadership quality? Seems the dishonest mass medias’ propagandistic screaming and lying is Hillary Clinton’s and his underling Obama’s tool and hallmark of their administration. Perhaps Mr Trump can do better?