China needs to end activities infringing Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Sea, Hanoi has demanded.
|China ships in a military drill in the South China Sea. Photo: China's Ministry of National Defense|
“China’s military drills in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago violate Vietnam’s sovereignty over these islands, going against the Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the East Sea (referring to the South China Sea) and complicating the situation. It also harms the current negotiations on the Code of Conduct (COC) between the Parties in the East Sea, as well as the maintenance of the peaceful, stable and cooperative environment in the sea,” Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said during a virtual press briefing on Thursday [August 5].
Hang made the statement after the China Maritime Safety Administration announced on August 4 to hold military drills in parts of the South China Sea on August 6-10. The exercises are to be conducted in a 100,000 square kilometer zone around the Paracel Islands.
“Vietnam requests China to respect Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Paracel archipelago, stop and not to repeat any act that complicates the situation in the East Sea,” Hang said.
China seized Vietnam’s Hoang Sa in a bloody battle in 1974. Beijing has been conducting militarization in the islands so far despite protests by Vietnam and the international community.