Taipei/Hanoi: China has started stockpiling missiles 20 km from the Vietnam border. China’s preparations have sounded alarms for neighbouring countries. An analyst from a US think tank has claimed that China made the deployment for a future war. The analyst also recalled that Chinese President Xi Jinping had ordered his army to remain ready for battle a few months ago.
For the past few weeks, the news that China has begun building a missile base in the Guangxi region near the Vietnam border has been making rounds in the media. Also, satellite photographs have revealed another missile base, located 70 kilometres from the Vietnam border. Ground-to-air missiles, radars and six launchers were deployed at the base. The Vietnamese government has said it is investigating the legitimacy of the allegations.
Alexander Vuving, an analyst with the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, warned against the missile base near the Vietnamese border. Vuving said the missile bases pose a threat not only to Vietnam but also to other neighbouring nations. Vuving went on to claim that ‘The construction of missile bases indicates that China is preparing for war. The war will not happen immediately – today or tomorrow. However, in the near future, China will definitely go to war’.
The border dispute with Vietnam and the South China Sea dispute, ongoing for the past several years, could become the cause of the war. In the 1974 war, Vietnam’s communist regime brought the Chinese monarchy to its knees. Vuving said there was still anger in China due to it. Besides, Vietnam is posing quite a challenge to China over the South China Sea dispute.
In the wake of the dispute, Vietnam has reinforced embankments on the West Reef and Sin Cowe Islands in the Spratly Islands maritime region and built infrastructure. As part of it, Vietnam is claimed to have built administrative buildings as well as helipads, bunkers and communication towers. At the same time, Vietnam is inviting countries like India and Australia for oil exploration in the region, further angering China.
Under such circumstances, the media believes that China is trying to add military pressure on Vietnam by deploying missiles near the border.