Vietnam has carried out significant land reclamation at two sites in disputed South China Sea waters, recent satellite pictures show, but analysts say the scale of the work is dwarfed by that of China, reports AFP.
The expansion of the land area of Vietnamese-controlled Sand Cay and West London Reef in the Spratly is shown in satellite images from Washington's Centre for Strategic and International Studies
Vietnam has carried out significant land reclamation at two sites in the disputed South China Sea, though the scale and pace is dwarfed by that of China, says CSIS.
Beijing has called on Vietnam to stop its reclamation work at two sites in the disputed marine areas in the South China Sea, parts of which Manila calls the West Philippine Sea. Chinese Foreign Ministry said that Vietnam's activity in the area is illegal as it violates China's sovereignty.
According to a Reuter report, the satellite images clearly show an expansion of the land area of Vietnamese-controlled Sand Cay and West London Reef in the Spratly archipelago and the addition of buildings.
"Between August 2011 and February 2015 significant upgrades were made to (Sand Cay)," CSIS said, noting the island's land mass had expanded from 41,690 to 62,970 square meters.
Vietnam also appears to have added "defensive structures," including trenches and gun emplacements, it said. At West Reef -- which is part of the London Reefs group of western Spratly Islands -- some 65,000 meters of land have been reclaimed with new structures, including a harbour, being added, it said.
Responding to this, China said
its work in the region was part of an obligation to the international community to improve navigation safety and contribute to science and research, including building observation platforms to monitor sea levels.