Vietnam requests Taiwan to stop repeated drills in the Spratlys

By Khanh Lynh   May 26, 2017 | 10:15 pm GMT+7
Vietnam requests Taiwan to stop repeated drills in the Spratlys
Image of Ba Binh Island (the biggest pictured) taken aboard the International Space Station. Photo by NASA

The reapeated drills threaten peace and stability in the East Sea, Vietnam foreign ministry says.

The Vietnamese government said Taiwan's recent live fire drill around an island in the Spratlys is a serious violation of Vietnam's sovereignty. 

Taiwan's reapeated drills around Ba Binh Island (internationally known as Itu Aba) threaten peace, stability, safety and maritime security, create tensions and complicate the situation in the East Sea, Vietnam's foreign ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang said, using the Vietnamese reference for the South China Sea. 

The live fire exercise by Taiwan's coast guards took place on May 24-26 around Itu Aba Island belonging to the Spratly Archipelago in the South China Sea, South China Morning Post reported. 

"Once again, Vietnam resolutely opposes [the drill] and demands Taiwan not to repeat any such exercises," Hang said as quoted by the Vietnam News Agency.  

Vietnam has full legal grounding and historical evidence for its indisputable sovereignty over the Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos, Hang added.

Ba Binh is under illegal occupation of Taiwan, the largest naturally occuring island in the Spratlys, which belongs to Vietnam. The 0.5 square kilometers island is 1,600km south-west of Taiwan.