Hanoi resolutely objects to Taiwan’s (China) live-fire exercises in the waters around Ba Binh (Itu Aba) Island, part of Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago in the East Vietnam Sea, and demands Taiwan not to repeat such violation in the future, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday.
The ministry’s deputy spokesperson, Pham Thu Hang, made the objection in response to local media’s questions about Vietnam’s reactions to Taiwan’s notice of live-fire drills in the said waters.
“As confirmed many times before, such drills around Ba Binh represent a serious violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty over Truong Sa, and threaten peace, stability, safety, and security of navigation in the East Vietnam Sea,” Hang said.
They also triggered tensions and complicated the situation in the waters, the spokeswoman added.
“Vietnam firmly opposes and demands that Taiwan cancel its live-fire drills in the Vietnamese waters and not to commit similar acts in the future,” Hang stressed.
Taiwan had used domestically developed Kestrel anti-tank guns in the exercises and had deployed such weapons on Ba Binh Island, according to some unverified sources.
Taiwan’s Coast Guard forces have been stationed on the island in replacement of its Marines units, according to Taiwanese media.
Ba Binh is the largest natural island in Truong Sa, which belongs to Vietnam but has been illegally occupied by Taiwan since 1956.
Vietnam has repeatedly affirmed that it has sufficient historical evidence and legal basis to affirm its sovereignty over the Truong Sa and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagoes in the East Vietnam Sea in accordance with international law.