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​Vietnam requests China to cease live-fire exercises in Hoang Sa (Paracels)

Friday, June 01, 2018, 12:35 GMT+7
​Vietnam requests China to cease live-fire exercises in Hoang Sa (Paracels)
Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam has demanded that China cease carrying out live-fire exercises in the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago in the East Vietnam Sea as it is a violation of the Southeast Asian country’s maritime sovereignty.

Beijing conducted live-fire drills in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa Archipelago as recently as May 9 to 12, according to a statement given by Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang at a regular press conference in Hanoi on Thursday.

Such activities are a severe violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty over the islands and goes against an agreement on basic principals guiding the settlement of sea-related issues between two nations, and the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC), Hang continued.

China’s actions further complicate the already complex issue of the Code of Conduct in the East Vietnam Sea (COC) under negation between ASEAN and China, as well as the maintenance of peace, stability, and cooperation in the region, she added.

ASEAN is short for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which is a political and economic organization whose members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Vietnam demands that China refrain from conducting similar activities, respect Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos, and abide by the common perspectives reached by senior leaders of the two countries, as well as international law, Hang asserted.

“Vietnam has sufficient legal foundation and historical evidence to prove its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos,” she stated.

During the press meeting, the spokesperson also stressed that all activities perpetrated by Taiwan in Truong Sa archipelago, including its live-fire drill on Ba Binh Island from May 23 to 25, infringe on Vietnam’s sovereignty.

Hanoi resolutely protests the activities and requests Taiwan not to repeat such acts, she said.

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Duy Khang / Tuoi Tre News

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