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Vietnam opposes China’s placement of submarine cables in Hoang Sa

Friday, June 12, 2020, 16:08 GMT+7
Vietnam opposes China’s placement of submarine cables in Hoang Sa
A satellite image shows the vessel Tian Yi Hai Gong placing undersea cables in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago. Photo: Planet Labs Inc.

Vietnam has voiced its objection to China’s installment of undersea cables in the former’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago.

“Vietnam has sufficient historical evidence and legal grounds affirming its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa [Spratly] archipelagoes in accordance with international law,” Le Thi Thu Hang, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressed while answering questions about the incident during a regular press conference on Thursday.

Hang was referring to two groups of islands administered by Vietnam in the East Vietnam Sea.

Any activity conducted in Hoang Sa and Truong Sa without Vietnam’s permission is null and void, she underlined.

Relevant countries need to act responsibly and refrain from complicating the situation in the East Vietnam Sea, and have to contribute to the maintenance of peace and security in the maritime area, Hang stated.

Benar News previously reported that a ship named Tian Yi Hai Gong had left Shanghai on May 28 and headed to Vietnam’s Hoang Sa.

There was no specific information on the management of Tian Yi Hai Gong, the news outlet said, adding it could only confirm that the ship was built in early 2020 and carried a Chinese flag.

Satellite images later showed that the vessel placed undersea cables to connect Cay (Tree) Island, Bac (North) Island, and Phu Lam (Woody) Island in Hoang Sa where many Chinese soldiers are illegally stationed.

On June 5, the ship traveled southwest to the islands of Ba Ba (Yagong) and Duy Mong (Drummond) in the Hoang Sa archipelago.

Benar News cited three experts as saying that the activity was related to a submarine cable system that China has been operating illicitly in the East Vietnam Sea.

The cable system is likely used for military purposes, the experts added.

In 2016, Reuters reported that China had installed a cable system connecting Vietnam’s Phu Lam Island and its Hainan Province.

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