Vietnam demands China stop military drills in Paracel islands

VOV.VN - Vietnam on June 23 strongly opposed China’s illegal military exercise in the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago as a serious violation of its sovereignty in the East Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang made the remarks at a regular press briefing in Hanoi, in reactions to the Maritime Safety Administration of China’s Hainan province’s announcement about a July 19 drill in the waters off Phu Lam (Woody) island of the Hoang Sa archipelago.

The military drill, she said, goes against the spirit of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), complicates the situation, is not conducive to the ongoing negotiations between ASEAN and China on the Code of Conduct (COC), and does not help support the maintenance of peaceful, stable, and cooperative environment in the regional waters.

Vietnam resolutely opposes such actions and demands that China respects Vietnam’s sovereignty over its Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes and not repeat similar violations, Hang stressed.

Also at the press briefing, spokesperson Thu Hang answered reporters’ questions about Japanese media reports that China intends to turn the East Sea into its ‘internal waters’ and political zone. The Japanese government appealed to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, and said it would stand with Southeast Asian countries, the US, and Europe, in the East Sea issue.

Hang reiterated Vietnam’s clear position fully expressed in the diplomatic note verbale No.22/HC-2020 dated March 2020 circulated in the United Nations, in which Vietnam claims sovereignty and sovereign rights over the Paracel and Spratly islands in accordance with international law, as well as its sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction over the waters as provided by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Vietnam believes that all countries share the common aspiration and goal of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, cooperation and development in the East Sea, and settling disputes on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, said the spokesperson.