Vietnam closely monitoring Whitsun Reef situation: foreign ministry

By Ngoc Anh   April 8, 2021 | 08:20 pm GMT+7
Vietnam closely monitoring Whitsun Reef situation: foreign ministry
A satellite image shows Chinese vessels lining up near the Grierson Reef, part of Vietnam's Truong Sa Islands. Photo courtesy of Maxar.
Vietnam says it is closely monitoring the situation as 200 Chinese vessels are anchored illegally at the Whitsun Reef, part of Vietnam's Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands.

Vietnamese authorities always closely follow situations in the East Sea in order to protect and execute the nation’s sovereignty and sovereignty rights over sea areas in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Foreign Ministry spokewoman Le Thi Thu Hang said Thursday.

She was responding to inquiries regarding the situation at the Whitsun Reef, located within the territorial waters of the Grierson Reef, part of Vietnam’s Spratly Islands in the East Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea. The Philippines, among other countries, has recently voiced opposition to more than 200 Chinese vessels being illegally anchored at the reef. The fact that they are not catching fish despite good weather conditions makes their presence more dubious and suspicious.

In an earlier press meet, Hang had stressed that the actions of the Chinese vessels within the territorial waters of the Grierson Reef are a serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty and of international law. Vietnam requests that China stop such violations and respect Vietnam’s sovereignty, she had said.

Vietnamese authorities have been performing their duties in accordance with Vietnamese and international law, Hang said.

The Quang Trung frigate of the Vietnamese navy has performed combat drills at the Spratly Islands, state broadcaster Vietnam Television reported on April 4.

"On the islands of the Spratly archipelago, combat preparedness is being performed at the highest level. Despite harsh weather conditions, each soldier still strives to practice," the report said.

 
 
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