​Vietnam requires China to remove military equipment from Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands

The Southeast Asian country asserts that it has every foundation to prove its sovereignty over the archipelago

Le Thi Thu Hang, spokeswoman of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, fields questions at a press conference. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Vietnam demanded on Tuesday that China withdraw all its military facilities from Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea, following media reports that China has deployed missiles at structures it illegally constructed there.

“Vietnam requests that China, as a large country, show its responsibility in maintaining peace and stability in East Vietnam Sea,” Le Thi Thu Hang, Vietnam’s foreign ministry spokesperson, said at a press conference in Hanoi.

Vietnam asks China to cease militarization activities, and withdraw military equipment illegally installed on structures belonging to Vietnam’s sovereignty, she underlined.

The statement followed reports on May 2 by U.S. news network CNBC that China had installed YJ-12B anti-ship cruise missiles and HQ-9B surface-to-air missiles on the reefs of Chu Thap (Fiery Cross), Su Bi (Subi) and Vanh Khanh (Mischief) in Vietnam’s Truong Sa islands.

“Vietnam is deeply concerned by the above information and all militarization activities, including the installation of missiles in Truong Sa, are a serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty,” Hang said.

China’s action runs counter to the fundamental principles on sea dispute settlement on which Vietnam and China have all agreed, and the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC), causes regional instability and undermines ongoing efforts to reach a Code of Conduct for the waterway, the spokeswoman said.

Vietnam asks China to respect the agreed principles and declaration.

“Once again, Vietnam asserts that it has sufficient legal foundations and historical evidence to prove its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa [Paracel] and Truong Sa Islands in accordance with international law.”

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