International experts have warned that China’s deployment of weapons to an artificial island it is developing in the East Sea is posing a risk of a military crisis.

The “The Wall Street Journal” newspaper recently posted an article about the US surveillance imagery that has detected two Chinese motorised artillery weapons on one of the artificial islands illegally built by China one month ago.

Senator John McCain, Chairman of the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee, said that the move is a disturbing and escalatory development.

Meanwhile, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter stated at the 14 th Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore on May 30 that China’s island-building in the East Sea is undermining security in the Asia-Pacific.

Sharing a similar viewpoint, Prof. Michael Pillsbury, an expert on Chinese issues from the US Defence Department, said that changes in China’s defence policies and its deployment of weaponry to the artificial island will kindle a military crisis in the future.

If China has deployed military assets in the Truong Sa (Spratly) island chain, this would mark a “substantial escalation”, said Jonathan Eyal, the head of international studies at the Royal United Services Institute.

“The militarisation of the situation would make it very clear that the Chinese objective is to impose physical control over some of the most sensitive international waterways in the world,” stated Eyal. “It would show China’s long term intention, which is a permanent, physical, military presence in these waterways”.

On the sidelines of the Shangri-la Dialogue, the Vietnamese delegation head, Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh, said that if the information on China’s deployment of weapons is true, this would be detrimental to the complex situation in the East Sea.

He expressed his hope that the international community maintains its responsibility for peace, stability and development in the region, and does not ignore acts that violate international law.

China has brazenly claimed sovereignty over most of the East Sea waters. In recent months, it has been speeding up the construction of artificial islands in Truong Sa archipelago’s reefs.

Vietnam, in turn, has requested China to immediately end its constructions in the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa archipelagoes, and strictly follow and enforce international law.-VNA