Report: Vietnam Increasing South China Sea Expansion
Washington-based think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said in a report that Vietnam has heavily expanded its acres of land in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea through dredging and landfill efforts....
Washington-based think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said in a report that Vietnam has heavily expanded its acres of land in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea through dredging and landfill efforts.1
According to the report, Vietnam's expansion of its land mass in the South China Sea has nearly doubled since December 2022, with the country having created an additional 330 acres of land within the Spratly archipelago.2
The extension at Barque Canada Reef, also known as Bai Thuyen Chai in Vietnam, was the most notable, standing at a 210-acre expansion in the last year. According to CSIS, Vietnam has used suction dredgers to 'accelerate' its efforts and recently begun dredging at the South and Central Reefs. 3
This comes amid rising territorial disputes in the region between countries including China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei, and Malaysia. China claims sovereignty over many areas of the South China Sea where Vietnam has been building islands.4
According to the think tank, China built more than 3.2K acres of land in the South China Sea — which hosts the passing of over $3T in trade every year — between 2013 and 2016.5
Anti-China narrative, as provided by France 24. Beijing wrongly claims most of the South China Sea, including areas claimed by Vietnam — which maintains its right to a number of strategic islets in the South China Sea — and other nations. Rather than settling the disputes under international norms, Beijing has adopted an aggressive stance by deploying its so-called maritime militia in an effort to intimidate other nations.
Pro-China narrative, as provided by Global Times. The PRC has a historical claim over the South China Sea, and its regulation of military activities in waters that are part of its exclusive economic zone is consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea regulations. China's current maritime strategy is aimed at extending its security by creating a ring of military islets around China's periphery; and Vietnam's recent expansion is undermining the situation.