Beijing: Beijing-run media today warned Vietnam about military deployment in the South China Sea by reminding it that the last time the two countries went to war it was China that won. A state-run media outlet in China said it’s “a terrible mistake” on Vietnam’s part if it has deployed mobile rocket launchers aimed at China on the disputed South China Sea, as Reuters reported yesterday.
“If Vietnam’s latest deployment is targeting China, that would be a terrible mistake. We hope Vietnam will remember and draw some lessons from history,” said an article in Global Times, a state-run media outlet.
The Reuters report said – quoting “Western officials” – that the new mobile rocket launchers deployed by Vietnam are capable of striking China’s runways and military installations. After the Reuters report was published, the US said it’s aware of the report. It also urged “all claimants to avoid actions that raise tensions,” Reuters said.
Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry reportedly said the information about the rocket launchers is “inaccurate”. After the Hague tribunal’s ruling+ rejected China’s claims on the disputed sea, tensions in the region were bound to increase, Global Times said.
“Fortifying the islands with rocket launchers, if proved to be true, will only demonstrate Vietnam’s determination to strengthen its military deployment…Vietnam has been enhancing its control of the islets and islands in Nansha in order to consolidate the beneficial status quo,” the Chinese news outlet added.
The article cautioned all countries in the region of the disputed sea – including Vietnam – to be “wary” of the West’s tactics to continue fuelling tension. “It can be expected that the West won’t easily give up using arbitration as leverage to pile pressure on China and continue to stoke more tensions in the region. The regional stakeholders should be wary of the West’s tactics,” Global Times’ article said.