China’s drill “seriously violates Vietnam’s sovereignty”: Foreign Ministry

By Pham Van   July 4, 2016 | 07:28 am PT
Vietnam says Chinese military drill to be held in South China Sea (Vietnam's East Sea) is against international laws.

Vietnam denounces the move and requests China to respect Vietnam’s sovereignty, said Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesman Le Hai Binh in a statement issued to the press today.

In a brief online statement, China's maritime safety administration said the drills will take place from July 5-11, and gave coordinates for the drills that cover an area from the east of China's Hainan Island down to and including the Paracel Islands.

“China's move once again seriously violates Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Paracel Islands, goes against common conscience of both countries’ high ranking leaders, violates international laws, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS) and Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (Vietnam's East Sea),” said Binh.

“Vietnam strongly opposes and requests China to respect Vietnam’s sovereignty, to act responsibly, to immediately stop actions that threaten maritime security, safety on South China Sea (Vietnam’s East Sea) or raise the tension in the region,” added Binh.

The Paracels are claimed by Vietnam, Taiwan and China.

China has built a runway on Woody Island, the site of the largest Chinese presence on the Paracels, and placed surface-to-air missiles there, according to U.S. officials.

China says it is perfectly within its rights to do what it wants on the islands in the South China Sea (Vietnam's East Sea), saying they have been Chinese territory since ancient times.

About $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year though the energy-rich, strategic waters of the South China Sea (Vietnam's East Sea).

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