Vietnam requests that China immediately stop sending bombers to conduct drills in Vietnam’s Hoàng Sa (Paracel) archipelago, said the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson, Le Thi Thu Hang.
Hang made the statement in Hanoi on Monday in response to a reporter’s question regarding the exercises, saying China’s dispatch of bombers to conduct take-off and landing drills in Hoang Sa has seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over the archipelago. The move also runs counter to the Vietnam-China agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues as well as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China.
China’s acts have also adversely affected negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) between ASEAN and China, and have fuelled tensions as well as caused instability in the region, subsequently hampering efforts to maintain peace, stability and co-operation in the East Sea, she said.
“Vietnam has full legal grounds and historical evidence to affirm its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes in line with international law,” the official affirmed.
Vietnam asks China not to conduct militarization activities and to seriously respect the country’s sovereignty over the two archipelagoes. It also asks that China observe the Vietnam-China agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues and the DOC, and create a favorable environment for the maintenance of regional peace, stability and co-operation, Hang said.