Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Lê Hải Bình
HÀ NỘI — China’s election of deputies to the People’s Congress in the so-called Sansha city illegally built by the country and the illegal patrol in the Hoàng Sa (Paracel) Archipelago area are serious violations of Việt Nam’s sovereignty, Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Lê Hải Bình said yesterday.
The spokesman made the statement in reply to reporters’ queries about Việt Nam’s position on China’s moves, noting that Việt Nam had sufficient legal and historic evidence affirming its sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.
Such illegal actions cannot change the truth about Việt Nam’s sovereignty over Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa, he said.
Việt Nam has asked China to respect Việt Nam’s sovereignty, immediately end its wrongful actions, seriously abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the Agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of issues at sea between Việt Nam and China, he said.
Chinese media on September 19 ran headlines reporting Chinese ships ran patrol near Phú Lâm (Woody) island in the Paracel Archipelago. A few days later, Sansha organised its second elections to the municipal People’s Congress, according to Xinhua.
China unilaterally established Sansha in 2012, a move that faced strong opposition from other East Sea claimants like Việt Nam and the Philippines, as well as the United States. Sansha, which administers several island groups and undersea atolls in the East Sea, including the disputed Spratly archipelagos, held the first municipal People’s Congress the same year to elect its mayor and 45 deputies.— VNS