China slammed for sovereignty violation on Vietnam's Paracel islands

By Vu Anh   July 8, 2021 | 04:31 am PT
China slammed for sovereignty violation on Vietnam's Paracel islands
Satellite photo dated March 28, 2018 shows the Woody Island, part of Vietnam's Paracel Islands. Photo by Planet Labs Inc/Handout via Reuters.
Vietnam Thursday protested China's plan to send a research vessel to the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, asserting it was a violation of Vietnamese sovereignty.

"All survey and scientific research activities on the Paracel Islands without Vietnam's permission are a violation of Vietnam's sovereignty and relevant rights, illegal and hold no value," said foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang.

"As it has been affirmed multiple times, Vietnam has full historical evidence and legal basis to assert its sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly islands, as well as legal rights over Vietnamese waters, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea," she said.

Chinese media reports earlier this week said a research vessel named after Sun Yat-sen University is expected make its first voyage to the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea, this October.

Yu Weidong, a professor at the Sun Yat-sen University's atmospheric science department, said the vessel would go to the Paracel Islands to perform certain studies that could help natural disaster prevention efforts.

The vessel, which spans 113 meters and is 19.4 meters wide, is considered China's largest research vessel. It is equipped with a helicopter deck, and a weather radar is to be installed in 2022.

China has made several false territory claims on the South China Sea, including the infamous nine-dash line, and committed gross violations like creating illegal artificial islands on Vietnamese territory.

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