Washington-based think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said in a report that Vietnam has heavily expanded its acres of land in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea through dredging and landfill efforts.
According to the report, Vietnam's expansion of its land mass in the South China Sea has nearly doubled since December 2022, with the country having created an additional 330 acres of land within the Spratly archipelago.
Beijing wrongly claims most of the South China Sea, including areas claimed by Vietnam — which maintains its right to a number of strategic islets in the South China Sea — and other nations. Rather than settling the disputes under international norms, Beijing has adopted an aggressive stance by deploying its so-called maritime militia in an effort to intimidate other nations.
The PRC has a historical claim over the South China Sea, and its regulation of military activities in waters that are part of its exclusive economic zone is consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea regulations. China's current maritime strategy is aimed at extending its security by creating a ring of military islets around China's periphery; and Vietnam's recent expansion is undermining the situation.