HA NOI — Viet Nam has asked the Chinese side to respect the country's sovereignty and end all practices violating its control over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago in order to maintain peace and stability on the East Sea.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi made the request yesterday in response to China's recent activities near Viet Nam's Hoang Sa Archipelago.
The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has recently offered oil and gas tenders for 19 lots in the northern part of the East Sea, including one only a single nautical mile from the Tree Island of the Hoang Sa Archipelago.
On March 2, the Chinese Guard Ship Fleet No 11 conducted a live ammunition drill in the waters of the Hoang Sa Archipelago.
At the fifth session of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on March 7, the Deputy Director of the National Administration of Tourism of China (NATC) said his agency was co-operating with the authorities of Hainan province to expand tourist activities on the Hoang Sa Archipelago.
On March 12, on the "Powerful Nation Forum" of the People's Network, the Deputy Minister of Culture and Director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China said China would build an archaeological centre in the East Sea and a working station on the Hoang Sa Archipelago as part of its 12th five-year plan.
The Hainan authorities also plan to organise a yacht race from San Ya to the Hoang Sa Archipelago on March 28.
The Vietnamese spokesman said Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos have been inseparable parts of the Vietnamese territory. The above-mentioned activities of China have seriously violated Viet Nam's sovereignty over the Hoang Sa Archipelago and international law and run against the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed in 2002 between ASEAN and China.
"These acts run counter to the common perception of the two countries' high-ranking leaders and are not beneficial to the development of friendship and co-operation between Viet Nam and China," Nghi stressed. — VNS