Hanoi has requested Beijing not further conduct drills in the former’s waters in the South China Sea, especially near the Hoang Sa, or Paracel, islands.
|Spokesperson of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang. Photo: Minh Tuan|
China's reported live-fire drills in the South China Sea have violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) islands, said Spokesperson of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang, affirming Vietnam has sufficient historical evidence and legal basis to assert its sovereignty over the two island archipelagos in conformity with international law.
Responding to a question at a press briefing earlier this week, the spokesperson said China's activities near Hoang Sa run against the spirit of the existing Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) between ASEAN and China.
Such activities complicate the situation, are not conducive to Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) talks, and jeopardize peace and security in the region.
Vietnam claims Hoang Sa as its own but the archipelago has been under Chinese control since its violent seizure in the early 1970s.
China’s Maritime Safety Administration on September 28 issued two notices announcing two no-go zones in which all ships are prohibited from entering the area near Paracel Islands, but gave no details of the drills. These were the third exercises conducted by China in the area so far this year.