Vietnam’s deputy defense minister said on Saturday that reports China had placed mobile artillery weapons on a reclaimed island in the disputed South China Sea were, if true, a very worrying development.

“If it has actually happened it is a very bad sign for what is already a very complicated situation in the South China Sea,” General Nguyen Chi Vinh told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a security forum in Singapore.

The United States said on Friday that China had placed mobile artillery weapons on a reclaimed island in the disputed South China Sea. Analysts said the artillery could pose a threat to nearby Vietnamese bases, also on disputed territory.

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