Vietnam opposes China's illegal drills at Paracel Islands

By Vu Anh   August 3, 2023 | 05:36 am PT
Vietnam opposes China's illegal drills at Paracel Islands
Satellite image of the Woody Island, part of Vietnam's Paracel Islands. Photo courtesy of the Center for Strategic and International Studies
Vietnam has requested that China stop all acts that violate Vietnam’s sovereignty, including military drills at the Paracel Islands.

"China’s inclusion of part of the Paracel Islands in a military drill area in the East Sea from July 29 to August 2 seriously infringed on Vietnam’s sovereignty over the archipelago," saidspokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Thu Hang at a press conference on Thursday.

Hang said the act went against the spirit of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and complicated the situation and was not conducive to the ongoing negotiations between China and ASEAN on the Code of Conduct between Parties in the South China Sea (COC) and the maintenance of a peaceful, stable and cooperation in the East Sea.

"Vietnam resolutely opposes [the drills] and asks China to respect Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Paracel Islands and avoid the repeat of similar violations."

Chinese authorities last week forbade vessels from entering a sea region to the northeast of the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea, including parts of Vietnam’s Paracel Islands, from July 27 to August 2, for a military drill.

China has been illegally occupying the Paracel Islands since 1974. Vietnam has multiple times affirmed that it has full legal basis and historical evidence to assert its sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly islands in accordance with international law.

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