China’s decision to build an airport on an island belonging Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago highlights its defiant attitude towards the international community and is part of its scheme to exclusively occupy the East Sea, a former Vietnamese border official has said.
Tran Cong Truc, former chief of the Government’s Border Committee, made the comment in a recent interview with VnExpress about the fact that China has decided to build an illegal airport on Da Chu Thap Island (Fiery Cross Reef), part of Truong Sa in the East Sea.
The airport is part of China’s plan to create a link between its illegally, recently-built 2,000-meter airstrip on Phu Lam Island, part of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, Truc said.
The move reflects China’s defiance towards the international community and its resistance to the international response to its illegal deployment of the Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig to Vietnamese waters from May 1 to July 16, the former official said.
The building of the airport on Da Chu Thap is also a part of China’s plan to occupy the entire East Sea to boost oil exploitation to satisfy its thirst for energy, Truc said.
“Logistical costs in oil exploitation are very high, so the building of an on-site logistics base will help improve the exploitation’s efficiency,” he added.
China’s state-run China NewsWeek earlier said that the country made the decision to build a base after completing its land reclamation program on the reef.
The Chinese foreign ministry has falsely claimed China has a right to conduct any activity in its own ‘territory’ and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has wrongfully stated the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam do not have any right to comment regarding the construction.
International media outlets have also said China wants to accelerate land reclamation in disputed areas in the East Sea.
Taiwan’s Want China Times said that Chinese Naval Commander Wu Shengli had surveyed five locations on Truong Sa.
Last month, the BBC ran article saying China was reclaiming underground reefs in Truong Sa for military purposes.
Photos taken by the Philippine Navy also shows that China is transforming five reefs in Truong Sa, including Gac Ma (Johnson South), Chau Vien (Cuarteron), Ga Ven (Gaven), Tu Nghia (Hughes) and En Dat (Eldad), by using millions of tons of soil and rock taken from the seabed.
China has itself recently published images showing the recent completion of the above 2,000 meter-airstrip on Vietnam’s Phu Lam island in Hoang Sa.
International experts have said these actions by China are very dangerous and malicious, and are aimed at creating a “new reality” in the East Sea to legalize China’s groundless nine-dash line, also known as the cow’s tongue, that falsely puts most of the East Sea under its sovereignty.
At the same time, these action are also aimed at realizing China’ plan to set up an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in sea area, experts said.