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Vietnam rejects China’s sovereign claims in East Sea

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HCMC – The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on April 23 that it has contacted the Chinese side to reaffirm Vietnam’s standpoint on East Sea issues and reject China’s illegal sovereignty claims over the Paracel and Spratly archipelagoes.

China has recently stepped up its assertiveness and illegal expansion in the disputed waters. After a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel rammed into a Vietnamese fishing boat while it was fishing near the Paracel Archipelago in early April, China announced on April 18 the establishment of Xisha District on Paracel Archipelago and Nansha District on Spratly Archipelago.

On April 19, China officially published the names of 25 islands and reefs and 55 seafloor geographical entities, most of which are located on the two archipelagos.

China’s Foreign Ministry has also sent a diplomatic note to the United Nations lodging stern representations in response to what it called Vietnam’s illegal claims in the East Sea. It also threatened any attempt to deny China’s sovereignty there will be doomed to fail.

Responding to inquiries about reactions of Vietnam on China’s recent moves at a press meeting on April 23,  Ngo Toan Thang, deputy spokesperson of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Vietnam has submitted a claim to the United Nations to affirm its sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly archipelagoes in accordance with international laws.

“China’s recent expansions in the East Sea go against the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and seriously violate the sovereignty of Vietnam. Vietnam has sufficient historical evidence and a legal foundation to assert its sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly archipelagoes,” Thang said.

Earlier on April 19,  Le Thi Thu Hang, spokesperson of Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry, said Vietnam strongly protests China’s establishment of  Xisha and Nansha districts and put them under the jurisdiction of Sansha City.

“China’s establishment of the so-called Sansha City and related acts are invalid and unrecognized, and they are detrimental to the friendship between countries and will further complicate the situation in the East Sea, the region and the world,” Hang said.

Vietnam has demanded that China respect Vietnam’s sovereignty, reverse its actions and refrain from similar actions in the future.

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