Vietnam: Chinese Bomber on Disputed Islands Jeopardises Peace

HANOI—The presence of Chinese bombers on the disputed Paracel islands in the South China Sea “jeopardises peace,” Vietnams foreign ministry said on Thursday, in another sign of disapproval in the region of Beijings increased military activity.

China, which has for years been locked in maritime disputes with other coastal states in the South China Sea, has in recent months boosted its presence and exercises in disputed parts of the strategic waterway, at a time when other claimants are battling coronavirus outbreaks.

“The fact that relevant sides sent weapons and bombers … not only violates Vietnams sovereignty but also jeopardises the situation in the area,” ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at a briefing, when asked to comment on the presence of at least one Chinese bomber on the Paracel islands.

Vietnamese and Chinese media have reported that China has recently deployed fighter jets and at least one bomber, the H-6J, to the Paracels, one of two groups of South China Sea islands that China claims historical ownership of.

Hang did not say when the bomber was seen at the Paracels.

Chinas foreign ministry referred questions to the defense ministry, which did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment.

Chinas defense ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang late last month said H-6G and H-6J bombers had participated in high intensity training in the area.

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