Vietnam objected to China’s beginning operation of the meteorological observation stations on several structures in Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, over which Vietnam exercises its sovereignty, the spokesperson of the Vietnamese foreign ministry said on Thursday.
China’s putting into use observatories that were built on structures it illegally constructed and renovated in Truong Sa seriously violates Vietnam’s sovereignty over the islands, Le Thi Thu Hang said at the foreign ministry’s regular press conference in Hanoi.
China had started the operations of three weather observation facilities on the Chu Thap (Fiery Cross), Xubi (Subi) and Vanh Khan (Mischief) reefs of Vietnam’s Truong Sa, according to a Wednesday report on the South China Morning Post.
The reefs are where Beijing has illegally seized to build artificial islands and installed military equipment for years.
Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesman Lu Kang said the weather stations would chiefly be utilized to guarantee navigational safety in the East Vietnam Sea, according to South China Morning Post.
The stations have equipment for basic ground and atmospheric observation, and weather radars which can constantly monitor meteorological indicators, according to China’s state broadcaster CCTV.
“Vietnam resolutely opposes the Chinese side’s activity and demands an immediate end to the operation,” Hang said as she fielded reporters’ query as to Vietnam’s response to China’s actions.
The spokesperson underlined that Vietnam has sufficient legal grounds and historical evidence testifying its over the Hoang Sa and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos.
Hang also asked China to respect principles reached by the two countries on maritime dispute settlements and the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC), and not to complicate the situation and damage peace, security as well as stability in the sea.