Vietnam asks Taiwan to stop Spratly Islands military drills

By Vu Anh   March 11, 2022 | 07:42 am PT
Vietnam asks Taiwan to stop Spratly Islands military drills
Aerial view of the Itu Aba Island, part of Vietnam's Spratly Islands. Photo by AFP
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned Taiwan holding military drills off Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly Islands) as a violation of its sovereignty.

"Organizing live-fire drills by Taiwan in the sea area surrounding the Itu Aba, part of Vietnam’s Spratly Islands, is a serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty over the islands, threatening peace, stability, safety and maritime security, causing tension and complicating the situation in the East Sea," Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said Friday.

The East Sea is known internationally as the South China Sea.

"Vietnam resolutely opposes and requests that Taiwan ends its illegal activities and not repeat them in the future," Hang said.

Vietnam has full legal basis and historical evidence under international law to assert its sovereignty over both the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Spratly archipelagoes, she added.

The Itu Aba, the largest naturally occurring island in the Spratly archipelago, is illegally occupied by Taiwan. Since 2000, Taiwan has replaced the garrison with a marine police unit, equipped with weapons such as machine guns and long-range mortars.

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