Vietnam has voiced its opposition to China’s illegal military exercise in the former’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago and demanded that Beijing not repeat similar violations in the future.
China’s illicit military drill in the Vietnamese archipelago was a serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty over the islands, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang said at a regular press meeting on Thursday.
The Department for Ocean Affairs of China’s Hainan Province announced that the drill took place in the waters within 12 nautical miles from Phu Lam (Woody) Island, belonging to Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago, which is occupied by China, on June 19.
The action went against the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC), complicated the current situation, and was not beneficial to the negotiation between China and ASEAN on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Vietnam Sea, as well as to the maintenance of a peaceful, stable, and cooperative environment in the maritime area, Hang stressed.
Vietnam strongly opposes the military drill and demands that China respect Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and not repeat such violations.
Regarding Japanese media’s reports about China’s intention to turn the East Vietnam Sea into ‘internal waters,’ Hang reiterated that Vietnam’s stance was clearly stated in the diplomatic note No.22/HC-2020 dated March 30, 2020 circulated at the United Nations.
Vietnam affirms its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos in accordance with international law, as well as its sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction over the waters as stipulated by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Vietnam believes that relevant countries share the common goal of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the East Vietnam Sea, and settling disputes based on international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.
“Vietnam has always made active and responsible contributions to this process,” Hang underlined.