Le Hai Bonh, Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam

China has been accused by Vietnam of violating its sovereignty by landing a plane on an airstrip Beijing built in one of the contested island in the South China Sea.

Le Hai Binh, Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam said that China had conducted a test-flight to the airfield, “built illegally on Fiery Cross Reef, which is part of Vietnam’s Spratlys”.

In a statement, he called it “a serious infringement of the sovereignty of Vietnam on the Spratly archipelago, contrary to the common perception of high-ranking leaders of the two countries and (to) an agreement on the basic principles for directly solving maritime issues between Vietnam and China”.

Vietnam sends China’s embassy a protest note asking China not to repeat its action, Binh said.

China is in advanced stages of construction on its 3,000 meter airstrip at Fiery Cross Reef. Image source: AMTI

China completed an airfield on Fiery Cross Reef late last year that security experts say could accommodate most Chinese military aircraft.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea where Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan also have claims. -John Esconde