Shocking new photos indicate that China may be gearing up for war.
Breitbart recently reported that newly-released satellite images show the communist country appears to be bolstering its military weaponry near its border with Vietnam.
The photographs were released this week by the South China Sea Chronicle Initiative (SCSCI), a non-governmental organization.
The images reportedly show that China looks to be building a surface-to-air missile base in Mengzi City, located just north of the China–Vietnam border.
According to reports, the base has been under construction since June. It is the second base of its kind, and some have alleged that China is looking to construct airbases in the area, too, though that has not been visually confirmed.
According to Alexander Vuving, a professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii, this concerning situation signals the possibility that “China is preparing for war along its borders.”
“It’s a sign that China is preparing for war, maybe not today, not tomorrow, but in the long term,” Vuving told VOA News.
War with whom?
Vietnam, for its part, is one of few Southeast Asian countries to have publicly disputed China’s claim of control over the whole of the South China Sea.
For Vietnam, the South China Sea holds an invaluable important resource: natural gas deposits. With the help of American and Japanese allies, Vietnam very much wants to tap into these resources — but according to Breitbart, China has actively attempted to stop Vietnam from extracting them.
“Chinese maritime forces scuttled a joint drilling project between Vietnam’s state energy company PetroVietnam and its Russian counterpart Rosneft last summer, and blocked a deal between PetroVietnam and Spain’s Repsol company a few years before that, in part by credibly threatening to use force against the Vietnamese ventures,” Breitbart reported Friday.
According to a report from the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Vietnam is working to bolster its own defenses in response to the build-up of Chinese assets on their shared border, including by fortifying its bases in the South China Sea. At the same time, Vietnam has been calling for peace in the South China Sea.
Whether any fighting will actually break out at some point in time between the two countries remains unclear. However, reports clearly indicate that China is becoming more aggressive by the day.