Vietnam demands China stop Paracel Islands military drills

By Vu Anh   August 5, 2021 | 03:55 am PT
Vietnam demands China stop Paracel Islands military drills
Satellite image of the Woody Island, part of Vietnam's Paracel Islands. Photo courtesy of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Vietnam has asked China to stop and not repeat military drills on its Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, asserting that they violate Vietnam's sovereignty.

"China performing drills on Vietnam's Paracel Islands violates Vietnam's sovereignty over the islands, goes against the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), complicates the situation, and is not beneficial for current negotiations between China and ASEAN on the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea (COC), as well as the maintenance of peace, stability and cooperation at the East Sea," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said Thursday.

She was responding during a regular press meet to inquiries regarding the Maritime Safety Administration of China's Hainan Province announcing Wednesday that a military drill will be held August 6-10 at Vietnam’s Paracel Islands and the southeastern region of China's Hainan Island.

Vietnam has full legal basis and historical evidence to assert its sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly (Truong Sa) islands in accordance with international law, Hang reiterated.

"Vietnam requests China to respect Vietnam's sovereignty over the Paracel Islands, to end and not to repeat similar violations that complicate the situation in the East Sea," she said.

The East Sea is internationally referred to as the South China Sea.

Vietnam's Paracel Islands have been forcefully and illegally occupied by China since 1974.

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