China’s organisation of consecutive military exercises in the waters to the north-northeast of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago has violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over the archipelago, said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang.
Responding to reporters’ query at a press conference on August 26, Hang made it clear that China’s act runs counter to the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and complicates the situation, which is unfavourable for the current negotiations between China and the ASEAN on a Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC) and the maintenance of a peaceful, stable and cooperative environment in the East Sea.
Vietnam demands that China respect Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa archipelago (Paracel Islands), stop and not repeat such violations.
On August 23, the People's Daily of China quoted an announcement from the Hainan Provincial Department of Marine Affairs that China would conduct "military exercises" to the northeast of Vietnam's Hoang Sa Archipelago in six days, starting from August 24.
This is the second time in the past two months that China has conducted military exercises in Hoang Sa. The scale of this exercise was announced to be even larger than the one held in early July.