An oil rig (C) which China calls Haiyang Shiyou 981, and Vietnam refers to as Hai Duong 981, is seen in the South China Sea, off the shore of Vietnam in this May 14, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Minh Nguyen/File Photo
Reuters: Exclusive: Vietnam moves new rocket launchers into disputed South China Sea - sources
Vietnam has discreetly fortified several of its islands in the disputed South China Sea with new mobile rocket launchers capable of striking China's runways and military installations across the vital trade route, according to Western officials.
Diplomats and military officers told Reuters that intelligence shows Hanoi has shipped the launchers from the Vietnamese mainland into position on five bases in the Spratly islands in recent months, a move likely to raise tensions with Beijing.
The launchers have been hidden from aerial surveillance and they have yet to be armed, but could be made operational with rocket artillery rounds within two or three days, according to the three sources.
Vietnam's Foreign Ministry said the information was "inaccurate", without elaborating.
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Update #1: Vietnam sends rocket launchers to the South China Sea -- The Guardian
Update #2: Vietnam Deploys Precision-Guided Rocket Artillery in South China -- The Diplomat
WNU Editor: Expect a Chinese counter-move in the coming weeks.