Vietnam protests China’s illegal corporate registrations on Paracel Islands

By Viet Anh   October 15, 2020 | 06:18 am PT
Vietnam protests China’s illegal corporate registrations on Paracel Islands
Satellite image of China's illegal constructions on Woody Island, part of Vietnam's Paracel Islands. Photo courtesy of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.
All business registration behavior related to Vietnam's Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago hold no value, the foreign ministry asserted Thursday.

"Vietnam's consistent stance is to strongly protest the formation of what is called the Sansha City and relevant activities that seriously violate Vietnam's sovereignty," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at a press meet Thursday.

Hang was responding to inquiries to information that since 2012, China has registered over 400 companies in what it calls "Sansha City" on Woody Island, which is part of Vietnam’s Paracel Islands.

The information was first announced last month on the official website of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) under the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

According to AMTI, publicly available corporate records indicate that as of June last year, around 446 private enterprises, state-owned enterprises, and small businesses had registered in Sansha City, with 307 of these companies reporting a cumulative $1.2 billion in registered capital.

The "leadership" of Sansha City ran a campaign to "register in Sansha, pay taxes to Sansha, brand as Sansha, operate elsewhere," allowing companies to register in the city but operate outside its jurisdiction, AMTI added.

China’s behavior regarding the formation of "Sansha City" holds no value and recognition, is not beneficial for the friendly relations between countries and complicate the situation on the East Sea, the region and the world, Hang said.

The East Sea is internationally known as the South China Sea.

China had seized the Paracel Islands from South Vietnam by force in 1974, and has been illegally occupying it since.

Vietnam has reiterated multiple times that it has full legal basis and historical evidence to assert its sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly islands.

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