VIETNAM PLANS TO BUILD AIRPORT IN DISPUTED SPRATLYS ISLET
Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Authority is proposing the construction of an airport in the disputed Spratly Islands, Thanh Nien newspaper reported, Mai Ngoc Chau reported for Bloomberg News.
The aviation agency seeks to include a Spratlys airport in the transport ministry’s 2021-2030 master plan, Thanh Nien reported, citing the proposal sent to the ministry. The aviation agency’s May 10 proposal also includes airports on Ly Son Island in Quang Ngai province and Binh Thuan province’s Phu Quy Island, the newspaper said.
The airports would create economic growth for the country’s geographically important islands and assert Vietnam’s sovereignty over the regions, the agency said, according to Thanh Nien. The Spratly Islands are part of a disputed region in the South China Sea.
China claims more than 80% of the sea and backs up its claim with a 1947 map drawn up by the Kuomintang government that shows vague dashes – the so-called nine-dash line – looping down to a point about 1,100 miles (1,800 kilometers) south of its Hainan island.
Originally, the line covers areas where China could assert some claims after World War II and does not represent historic claims, a myth created by Beijing only in the 1990s. Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Taiwan claim parts of the same maritime area and have sparred with China over which claims are valid.