The war of words between China and its two main detractors in the South China Sea — Vietnam and Philippines — became shriller after Beijing, accused of reclamation work on disputed islands, charged Manila and Hanoi of illegal construction.
“For a long time, the Philippines, Vietnam and other countries have been carrying out reclamations on the Chinese islands they are illegally occupying in the Nansha Islands, building airports and other fixed infrastructure, even deploying missiles and other military equipment,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, during his daily briefing.
Mr. Hong was referring to Spratly islands, called by China as Nansha islands.
Detailing his accusations, Mr. Hong said that the Philippines is building an airport and expanding a wharf on Thitu Island.
Turning to Vietnam, the Foreign Ministry said that Hanoi has been building docks, runways, missile positions, office buildings, barracks, hotels, lighthouses and helicopter pads on more than 20 islands and shoals.‘Stop the infringements’
“China is resolutely opposed to these illegal activities and demands the relevant countries immediately stop their infringements on China’s sovereignty and rights,” Mr. Hong observed. “China’s construction in the Nansha Islands is totally within the scope of our sovereignty; it is reasonable, fair and lawful.”