Vietnam condemns Taiwan's military drills in flashpoint waters

By VnExpress   November 29, 2016 | 11:00 am PT
The government views this as a violation of Vietnamese sovereignty.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced Taiwan on Tuesday over the latter's ongoing military drills on Ba Binh (Itu Aba) Island in the Truong Sa (Spratly Islands), which is Vietnam's sovereign territory.

Taiwan’s actions are a serious violation of Vietnam's sovereignty, threatening peace, stability, security and maritime safety while causing tensions and complicating the situation in the East Sea, the Vietnamese foreign ministry said in a statement, using the Vietnamese reference for the South China Sea.

Vietnam has demanded that Taiwan refrain from similar actions, the statement said.

Vietnam has reiterated that it has full historical evidence and the legal foundation to prove its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Island and the Spratlys in the East Sea.

China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts or all of the energy-rich East Sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade passes annually.

Taiwan, which currently occupies Ba Binh Island, conducted search-and-rescue exercises near the island on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Coastguard vessels and navy helicopters practiced how to retrieve injured crewmen from a burning ship and transport them to the island's small port and hospital, the newswire reported.

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