Vietnam protests Chinese drills near Paracel Islands

By Tien Anh   July 21, 2022 | 02:00 am PT
Vietnam protests Chinese drills near Paracel Islands
Satellite photo shows North Island, part of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, September 2017. Photo by Planet Labs via Reuters
Chinese drills near the Paracel Islands violated Vietnam's sovereignty and complicated the situation in the South China Sea, the foreign affairs ministry said Thursday.

"We vehemently oppose all activities that violate Vietnam's sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly islands," deputy spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Thu Hang said at a Thursday press meet.

She reiterated a statement by the spokeswoman of the foreign affairs ministry Le Thi Thu Hang on June 23 that China’s drills near the Paracel Islands had seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over the archipelagoes, gone against the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), complicated the situation and was not advantageous for negotiation processes between China and ASEAN for a Code of Conduct for Parties at the South China Sea (COC), as well as the maintenance of peace, stability and cooperation at the region.

Pham Thu Hang was responding to inquiries regarding an announcement by Hainan Maritime Safety Administration on July 15 banning vessels from entering sea regions to the southeast and north of Paracel Islands from July 16 to 20 due to military drills.

The Chinese army has yet to provide further details about the drills.

Vietnam's Paracel Islands, also known as Hoang Sa, are currently illegally occupied by China.

Vietnam calls the South China Sea the East Sea.

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