Vietnam protests illegal Chinese drills off Hoang Sa

By Viet Anh   August 25, 2020 | 11:16 pm PT
Vietnam protests illegal Chinese drills off Hoang Sa
A satellite image of the Woody Island, part of Vietnam's Paracel Islands. Photo courtesy of CSIS.
Vietnam has requested China to cancel its naval exercises near Vietnam's Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, adding it would complicate the East Sea situation.

"The fact China has repeatedly performed drills in the area of Hoang Sa 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), and is not conducive for negotiations related to the Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (COC), as well as the maintenance of peace, stability and cooperation across the waters," spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang said Wednesday.

In Vietnam, the South China Sea is called the East Sea.

Hang was responding to an inquiry regarding Vietnam's reaction to China performing naval exercises in the northern-northeastern sea regions off Hoang Sa Islands.

Hainan Maritime Safety Administration announced on August 23 the Chinese army would perform drills on southeastern Hainan Island and Vietnam's Hoang Sa Islands from August 24 to 29. It is the second time China has performed illegal drills near Hoang Sa within the last two months.

"Vietnam requests China respect our sovereignty over Hoang Sa Islands, cancel the exercises and not repeat similar violations," Hang said.

China seized Hoang Sa from South Vietnam by force in 1974, and has since illegally occupied the archipelago.

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