An aerial view of Phú Lâm (Woody) island as part of Việt Nam's Hoàng Sa (Paracel) archipelago that has been seized illegally by China. — Photo thedrive.com via Google Earth
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam condemned China’s recent deployment of one of its bombers to Hoàng Sa (Paracel) islands as a threat to regional peace and stability.
The Vietnamese foreign ministry’s spokesperson Lê Thị Thu Hằng made the remark on Thursday in Hà Nội during a regular press briefing as she was asked for comment on the alleged dispatch of China’s Xian H-6 jet to Việt Nam’s Phú Lâm (Woody) Island.
“We have many times reiterated that Hoàng Sa (Paracel) and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagos are inseparable part of Việt Nam’s territory. Việt Nam has full legal basis and historical evidence to affirm its sovereignty over the two island chains Hoàng Sa (Paracel) and Trường Sa (Spratly), in line with international law,” Hằng said.
The deployment of weapons and fighter jets to the Paracels not only constitutes a “serious violation” of Vietnamese sovereignty but also “jeopardises the peace and stability in the region,” she continued.
“We call on all parties involved to make meaningful and responsible contribution to the maintenance of peace, stability and security in the South China Sea,” the Vietnamese diplomat added.
Regarding the information that Chinese fishing vessels might be returning in droves to the South China Sea after its seasonal fishing ban order expired on August 16, the Vietnamese diplomat said Việt Nam has on many occasions emphasised its stance on the so-called fishing ban by the Chinese.
Previously in early May, Việt Nam has categorically rejected the “unilateral move” when Chinese authorities announced their annual three-and-a-half month ban with the ostensible goal of preserving fish stocks and improve sustainable ecology in the sea, but the presence of its law enforcement raised concerns of increased risks of confrontations and incidents with boats from other claimant countries in the heavily contested waters.
“In the current context, Việt Nam proposed that China refrain from complicating the situation in the South China Sea,” Hằng said in May, adding that as a coastal country and a member of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Việt Nam has sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its waters as defined in UNCLOS and enjoys other legitimate interests at sea accorded by UNCLOS. — VNS