Vietnam rejects Philippines' buoys at Spratly Islands

By Nguyen Tien, Thanh Danh   May 18, 2023 | 06:27 am PT
Vietnam rejects Philippines' buoys at Spratly Islands
Satellite image of the Whitsun Reef in the Spratly Islands, March 2021. Photo courtesy of the Copernicus Sentinel Data Hub
The Philippines’ placement of buoys at Whitsun Reef violates international law, said a ministry spokesperson in reaffirmation of Vietnam’s sovereignty over East Sea waters surrounding the Spratly Islands.

"Vietnam resolutely opposes all activities that violate its sovereignty and relevant rights overs the Spratly Islands," said deputy spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Thu Hang at a press conference Thursday.

She was responding to inquiries regarding a May 14 Philippine Coast Guard announcement that it had placed five navigational buoys at locations in the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea, including Whitsun Reef, part of the Spratly Islands. The buoys were placed May 10 to May 12.

Hang said Vietnam has the full legal basis and historical evidence to affirm its sovereignty over the Spratly (Truong Sa) Islands in accordance with international law.

"Vietnam asks all relevant parties to respect Vietnam’s sovereignty, international law, and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea while making practical and positive contributions to the maintenance of peace and stability in the South China Sea, as well as creating a conducive environment for the negotiations for a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea," she said.

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