China’s military exercise around Paracel Islands will reinforce Vietnam’s naval focus, says GlobalData

Following the announcement that China will conduct military exercises in the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands) from 1 July to 5 July;

Mathew George, Ph.D., Aerospace & Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“China’s claims and military exercises in the South China sea have been a point of contention to its neighbors for quite some time. These exercises need to be understood in several different contexts. Both politically, as Vietnam had recently nominated four conciliators and arbitrators, possibly pursuing a legal option and militarily as Vietnam focuses on naval modernization, even announcing that it had locally made its version of the Russian Kh-35UE anti-ship cruise missile, the VCM-1.

“According to GlobalData’s report, The Vietnamese Defense Market – Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2025, 49% of imports to Vietnam have been naval vessels, and there is a big push for Land C4ISR systems over next five years. These military exercises by China is only going to reinforce the threat perceptions that Vietnam possess on increased surveillance and maritime patrols.  

“The two countries have amicable relations elsewhere and familiarity between party ideologies, but the pleasantries do stop when it comes to the sovereignty of countries. China is facing increasing pressure globally, but its recent interactions with neighbors have been forceful. The situation has been tense with Australia, India and Taiwan (not to mention the US). China may find itself asserting its economic might across the region to ensure that neighbors are in favor Chinese economic interests.”

More Media