Update: May, 22/2018 – 06:00
Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Lê Thị Thu Hằng. — VNA/VNS Photo Phương Hoa
Viet Nam News – HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam requests that China immediately stop sending bombers to conduct drills in Việt Nam’s Hoàng Sa (Paracel) archipelago, said the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson, Lê Thị Thu Hằng.
Hằng made the statement in Hà Nội 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 Hoàng Sa has seriously violated Việt Nam’s sovereignty over the archipelago. The move also runs counter to the Việt Nam -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.
“Việt Nam has full legal grounds and historical evidence to affirm its sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes in line with international law,” the official affirmed.
Việt Nam asks China not to conduct militarisation activities and to seriously respect the country’s sovereignty over the two archipelagoes. It also asks that China observe the Việt Nam-China agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues and the DOC, and create a favourable environment for the maintenance of regional peace, stability and co-operation, Hằng said. — VNS