Vietnam requires China to stop its illegal construction work in the former’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, Pham Thu Hang, deputy spokesperson of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.
When asked how Vietnam reacts to the fact that China has constructed many facilities in Truong Sa, the deputy spokesperson answered the position of her country is clear and consistent that the Southeast Asian country has sufficient legal foundation and historical evidence to prove its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa archipelagos.
“The fact that China has expanded operations and constructed many facilities on reefs and islands in order to change the status quo in Truong Sa is a serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty and also an infringement of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the [East Vietnam Sea] signed between China and ASEAN,” Hang told Tuoi Tre News at a regular press conference held by the ministry yesterday.
“Vietnam is against China’s illegitimate actions and demands it stop them immediately,” she asserted.
Chinese land reclamation activity and installation construction at Bai Tu Nghia (Hughes Reef) in Vietnam’s Truong Sa has been identified for the first time by satellite imagery analyzed by IHS Jane's Defense Weekly, based in Coulsdon, Surrey (England).
According to IHS Jane's Defense, the imagery, provided by Airbus Defense and Space and taken in January, also shows the progress of construction at Gac Ma (Johnson South Reef), belonging to the archipelago as well.
IHS Jane's Defense previously used AIS transponder signals to monitor the movements of the Chinese dredger Tian Jing Hao through the Cum Dao Sinh Ton (Union Banks) and Cum Dao Nam Yet (Tizard Banks) regions in late 2013 and early 2014. It was also present at Hughes Reef between March 20 and April 3, 2014.