Friday, August 12, 2016

Standing Their (Tiny) Ground

I've long written that countries that claim islands in the South China Sea need to defend their claims with military force on the ground if they want to avoid having China grab the islands as they find the opportunities to expand their claims. Vietnam has taken such a step.

Yeah, raise the bar for China grabbing land:

Vietnam has discreetly fortified several of its islands in the disputed South China Sea with new mobile rocket launchers capable of striking China's runways and military installations across the vital trade route, according to Western officials.

Diplomats and military officers told Reuters that intelligence shows Hanoi has shipped the launchers from the Vietnamese mainland into position on five bases in the Spratly islands in recent months, a move likely to raise tensions with Beijing.

It raises tensions because China claims it all and isn't really interested in discussing anything that doesn't start with that assumption already agreed to.

Anybody else that hopes to defend their claims in the face of Chinese expansion had best be capable of defending their islands, too.