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Oct 07, 2021 / 21:55

UK, New Zealand warships’ presence in the South China Sea: what is the stance of Vietnam?

Hanoi raised its voice over the presence of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group along with a New Zealand frigate in the South China Sea (called East Sea by Vietnam).

Vietnam urged countries to abide by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), taking responsibility for the common interests in accordance with the nations’ aspiration on the rule of law and maintaining peace, stability, security, and maritime safety in the East Sea.

 British Royal Navy ship HMS Richmond. Photo: British Embassy in Vietnam

Vietnam Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang was answering the question regarding the New Zealand Defense Force’s statement announcing that a New Zealand frigate has joined with the UK’s Carrier Strike Group, led by Portsmouth-based aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, to traverse the South China Sea en route to a major international defense exercise.

The group is headed to Singapore to participate in a joint military exercise known as Bersama Gold 2021.

Militaries from Five Power Defense Arrangements (FPDA) countries are participating in the two-week drill. Five countries are Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

Earlier, on Oct 1, British Royal Navy ship HMS Richmond docked at Cam Ranh International Port the southern province of Khanh Hoa, starting its four-day visit to the country for bilateral cooperation activities.

The ship's presence underlines the UK's commitment to the Indo-Pacific, at the heart of which lies the UK's partnership with Vietnam, according to a statement released by the British Embassy in Hanoi.