Vietnam opposes Chinese military drills around Paracel Islands

7/3/2020| 9:02

The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 2 voiced strong opposition to China’s military exercises around Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, and requested that the northern neighbour halt similar actions in the future.

“That China has carried out military exercises in the Paracel Islands violates Vietnamese sovereignty over the Paracel Islands,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang told reporters during a regular press briefing in Hanoi.

She went on to say that the move runs in contrast to the spirit of the Declaration of Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC), further complicates the situation in the East Sea, and is conducive to the ongoing negotiation process between China and ASEAN on the Code of Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea, as well as the maintenance of a peaceful and stable environment and co-operation in the sea

Vietnam has communicated, handed over a note of opposition, and requested that the northern neighbour does not undertake similar actions in the future, Hang said.According to sources, China has being conducting military exercises in the northern part of the Paracel Islands that it has illegally occupied, with the drills beginning on July 1 and due to last until July 5.

Also at the press briefing, the spokesperson objected to China moving its Haiyang Dizhi 4 exploration ship into Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone, affirming that any exploration, survey, and scientific research activities in Vietnamese waters defined under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) are subject to local consent in accordance with the Convention.

Respect for national sovereignty, sovereign rights, jurisdiction, and UNCLOS provisions are of paramount importance to maintaining peace, stability, security, and co-operation in the East Sea, the region and the world, she said.