Vietnam on Monday demanded that China cease the activity of its strategic bombers in the former’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, in the wake of the release of related materials on a Chinese government website.
Hanoi requests Beijing to promptly halt its training drills with bombers in the archipelago and stop militarization in the waters of the East Vietnam Sea, said Le Thi Thu Hang, spokeswoman of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The statement followed the May 18 publication of videos and pictures on a website of the Chinese army which showed an H-6K bomber landing and taking off from Phu Lam (Woody) Island in Hoang Sa.
The exercises “heighten tension, cause regional instability and are prejudicial to the maintenance of a peaceful, stable and cooperative environment in the East Vietnam Sea,” Hang said.
China’s activity, she underlined, seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa, and runs counter to the fundamental principles on sea dispute settlement on which Vietnam and China have all agreed, and to the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC).
It also adversely impacts ongoing negotiations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on a Code of Conduct for the East Vietnam Sea, she said.
Vietnam asks China to respect the agreed principles and declaration.
“Vietnam has sufficient legal foundations and historical evidence to prove its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa [Spratly] in accordance with international law,” she asserted.
Earlier this month, Vietnam also required China to withdraw all its military facilities from Truong Sa, following media reports that China had deployed missiles on structures it illegally constructed there.
Hoang Sa belongs to Vietnam but China used force to seize it in 1974.