Vietnam condemns China’s ceremonies for islands

By VnExpress   December 12, 2016 | 11:00 am PT
Vietnam condemns China’s ceremonies for islands
A Vietnamese naval soldier stands quard at Thuyen Chai island in the Spratly archipelago. Photo by Reuters/Quang Le
The so-called '70th anniversary of the recovery' of the Paracels and Spratlys does not affect Vietnam's indisputable sovereignty.

Vietnam has denounced China for holding the so-called “70th anniversary of the recovery” of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spartly) archipelagoes in the East Sea, the Vietnamese reference for the South China Sea.

In a statement released on Monday, Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Hai Binh said the Chinese move could not change the fact that Vietnam has indisputable sovereignty over the islands.

The action, Binh said, went against the current trend in the relationship between the two countries and further complicated the situation. He said Vietnam has full legal grounds and historical evidence to prove its sovereignty over the two archipelagoes.

China’s news agency Xinhua reported that the Chinese Navy on December 8 held ceremonies to commemorate the so-called “70th anniversary of the recovery” of the two archipelagoes.

The Chinese news agency claimed that in compliance with the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation, China in November and December 1946 sent four warships to take over the islands, which were occupied by Japan at the time.

But the Vietnamese spokesman said in the statement that after the Second World War, the international community has not recognized China’s claims over the islands.

In 1974, taking advantage of the withdrawal of the American troops from the Vietnam War, China invaded the Paracels. A brief but bloody naval battle with the forces of the then U.S.-backed Republic of Vietnam ensued.

China has illegally occupied the islands ever since. But a post-1975 united Vietnam has never relinquished its sovereignty.

The Spratlys are claimed in part or whole by China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

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> Vietnam sends military aircraft to Spratly Island to rescue worker

> Vietnam denounces China sending aircraft to Spratly Islands

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