Vietnam protests Beijing's expansion in disputed South China Sea

VN protestChina has bolstered its presence in the South China Sea by setting up two administrative bodies on islands in the disputed water, dubbed "its youngest city".

Key points:

China says it has established an administrative district on two islands

The two districts are under the control of China's Sansha city

The US has called on China to stop its "bullying behaviour" in the region

Beijing claims sovereignty over most of the South China Sea, directly challenging the territorial claims of its neighbours — the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan and Malaysia.

China has recently been pushing its presence in the energy-rich waters while other claimants are pre-occupied with tackling the coronavirus pandemic, prompting the United States to call on China to stop its "bullying behaviour" there.

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