|Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Lê Thị Thu Hằng at a press conference on Thursday.— VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam has once again demanded China respect its sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa (Paracel) and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes in response to China’s live-fire drills and construction plans in Hoàng Sa.
Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Lê Thị Thu Hằng made the statement on Thursday at a press conference.
She reiterated: “Việt Nam has sufficient legal foundation and historical evidence testifying to its sovereignty over Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa archipelagoes in accordance with international law.”
China’s conducting of live-fire drills in Hoàng Sa from March 22-24 and its plans to build the islands of Phú Lâm, Cây and Duy Mộng in the Vietnamese archipelago into cities and strategic logistics service bases has “seriously violated Việt Nam’s sovereignty over this archipelago; run counter to the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues between Việt Nam and China; violated the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC); complicated the situation in a way that is unfavourable for the current negotiations between China and ASEAN on a Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC) as well as the maintenance of a peaceful, stable, and co-operative environment in the East Sea,” Hằng said.
“Việt Nam demands that China stop and not repeat similar activities, respect Việt Nam’s sovereignty over Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa archipelagoes, respect the common perceptions reached by the two countries’ senior leaders as well as international law and cease activities escalating tensions or complicating the situation in the region,” she said.
Hằng added that the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had sent a diplomatic note opposing these activities.
At the conference, the spokeswoman was also asked about Việt Nam’s comment on US President Donald Trump’s signing of a proclamation recognising the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.
She said: “Việt Nam shares the deep concerns of the international community over the recent developments relating to the status of the Golan Heights. We call on the related parties to act in line with relevant resolutions of the United Nations, respect international law, and resolve disagreements via dialogue for the sake of sustainable peace in the Middle E