Hanoi resolutely objects to Taiwanese live-fire exercises in the waters near Ba Binh (Itu Aba) Island, part of Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago in the East Vietnam Sea and demands that Taiwan not to repeat such actions in the future, Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.
Ministry spokesperson Pham Thu Hang made the objection in response to questions from local media regarding Vietnam’s reactions to Taiwanese live-fire drills near the Truong Sa Archipelago on Wednesday.
“Vietnam has sufficient historical evidence and legal basis to affirm its sovereignty over Truong Sa,” Hang stated.
The fact that Taiwan performed live-fire drills in the waters near Ba Binh in Truong Sa is a serious violation of Hanoi’s territorial sovereignty over the archipelago; threatens maritime peace, stability, safety and maritime security; causes tension; and further complicates the situation in the East Vietnam Sea, the spokeswoman said.
Vietnam firmly opposes and demands that Taiwan cancel such illegal activities and not repeat similar violations in the future, Hang stressed.
Ba Binh is the largest natural island in Truong Sa, which belongs to Vietnam but has been illegally occupied by Taiwan since 1956.
According to unverified information published in the Taipei Times, Taiwan has deployed domestically-made Kestrel anti-armor missiles on Itu Aba to “strengthen garrison defenses and anti-landing capabilities.”
Vietnam has repeatedly proclaimed that it has enough historical evidence and legal foundation to prove its sovereignty over the Truong Sa and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagoes in the East Vietnam Sea in accordance with international law, the spokesperson stated.