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Vietnam condemns Taiwan’s live-fire drills in Truong Sa 

Friday, March 23, 2018, 11:00 GMT+7

Vietnam has resolutely protested Taiwan’s repeated live-fire exercises in the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, an action it says seriously violates the former’s territorial sovereignty.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang expressed Vietnam’s condemnation of Taiwan’s live-fire drills in the sea areas surrounding Ba Binh (Itu Aba) Island, part of Vietnam's Truong Sa, during a press conference on Thursday evening.

Taiwan’s repeated exercises in the territory have severely violated Vietnam’s authority over the set of islands, threatening peace, stability, maritime safety and security, and further complicating the situation in the East Vietnam Sea.

“Once again, Vietnam resolutely opposes Taiwan’s moves and requests it refrain from similar actions in the future,” Hang said.

The spokesperson reaffirmed that Vietnam has sufficient legal foundation and historical evidence testifying to its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa archipelagos.

During the meeting, the diplomat also voiced Vietnam’s opposition to China’s unilateral decision to adjust regulations on a fishing break at sea, including in some of Vietnam's maritime areas.

The regulations in question violate Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa, the country’s legal rights and interests over its waters, and international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). 

The action also violates the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC) and the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of issues at sea signed between Vietnam and China.

China’s moves do not conform with these important agreements on controlling maritime disputes reached by the two countries’ leaders, and brought no benefits to peace, stability, and cooperation efforts in the region.

The decision also affected the Vietnam-China relationship and efforts to negotiate a Code of Conduct for the East Vietnam Sea, Spokesperson Hang asserted.

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Duy Khang / Tuoi Tre News

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