Vietnam has called on related parties to respect sovereignty of other countries after China reportedly tested anti-ship missiles in the South China Sea, saying it would keep a close watch on the issue.
Chinese vessels conduct live drills in the South China Sea in 2014. Photo: AP
Hanoi made the statement over the news that China has been conducting a series of anti-ship ballistic missile tests in the hotly contested waters of the South China Sea as reported by NBCNews.
The Pentagon said on Tuesday [July 2] that “the Pentagon was aware of the Chinese missile launch from the man-made structures in the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands,” CNN quoted spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn as saying.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported the Pentagon called the recent Chinese missile launch “disturbing.”
Spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang from the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said at a press conference in Hanoi on July 4 that Vietnam demands that any activity in the South China Sea must respect sovereignty, international treaties, and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
In a notice to mariners released on Saturday, China said it would hold military excercises from June 29 to July 3, warning all vessels away from an area of 22,500 square kilometer during the period.
The tested area is north of Vietnam’s Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea.
China has claimed almost the entire 1.3 million square mile South China Sea as its sovereign territory.
The South China Sea, which is home to more than 200 specks of land, serves as a gateway to global sea routes where approximately $3.4 trillion of trade passes annually.
More tests were expected, NBC said, citing unnamed US officials.