Vietnam rejects China's territorial claim on Spratly Islands

By Viet Anh   November 13, 2019 | 01:22 am PT
Vietnam rejects China's territorial claim on Spratly Islands
A Vietnam Coast Guard ship sails near two speedboats taking visitors to Vietnam's Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands, April 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Ngoc.
Vietnam has dismissed outright the territorial claims over its Spratly Islands made recently by a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman.

Vietnam "completely rejects all statements made by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang on November 8 on the Spratly Islands," which is Vietnamese territory, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said in a press release Wednesday.

Shuang told Chinese media last Friday that "the core of the South China Sea issue is territory, a matter related to the occupation of China's Nansha Islands by Vietnam and other countries concerned.

"I hope the Vietnamese side will face up to the historical fact, keep to our high-level consensus and resolve differences through dialogue and consultation. It needs to avoid taking actions that may complicate matters or undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea as well as our bilateral relations," he said.

Nansha is the name China has been using to make its fraudulent claim to Truong Sa Archipelago in the East Sea, known internationally as the Spratly Islands and South China Sea respectively.

"Vietnam has more than once confirmed that the nation has complete historical evidence and legal basis in accordance with international law to assert sovereignt over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) islands in the East Sea," Hang said.

Vietnam’s consistent policy is to settle all international disputes, including those over sovereignty of the Paracel and Spratly islands, by peaceful means in accordance with international laws and the Charter of the United Nations of 1945.

"Vietnam wishes that China contributes efforts to boost the two nations’ relation, maintain peace, security and stability in the region," Hang said.

Chinese oil survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 and escorts repeatedly trespassed into Vietnam's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf in the south of the East Sea from July. They left late last month.

Experts have said that this is a ploy by China to turn Vietnam's waters in the southern East Sea into a disputed area.

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