Image source: AMTI/CSIS

China has defended its recent test flight on a newly built airfield on its artificial island in the disputed South China Sea after objections from Vietnam and the Philippines.

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, said that a civilian aircraft used by the Chinese government conducted a test flight at the new airport on Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands.

Hua said that the test flight happened “entirely within the range of China’s sovereignty concerns.”

SCS claims
Source: Reddit

Vietnam considered the action as a serious infringement of the sovereignty of Vietnam over the contested waters in the Spratly Islands and asked China not to do it again.

While the Philippine Government on Monday said that like Vietnam, it opposes China’s recent test of a newly completed runway China has constructed in the disputed South China Sea.

China has reclaimed about 2,000 acres of land by its massive dredging operation, turning reefs into islands that houses airfields, helipads, ports, Preexisting military facility and air-defense guns.

Other neighboring countries also have an airstrip in the disputed waters, but only China has an airstrip that is capable of landing a bomber.