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May 23, 2024 / 20:44

Vietnam firmly rejects any activities in violation of its sovereignty over Hoang Sa, Truong Sa

Vietnam voiced its strong opposition to the latest move by China to press ahead with its illegal claims in the South China Sea.

Vietnam is unwaveringly committed to safeguarding its sovereignty, sovereign rights, and maritime jurisdiction, as well as the rights and legitimate interests of its citizens in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982 and Vietnamese law.

 Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Doan Khac Viet at the press conference in Hanoi on May 23. Photo: Nguyen Hong/Baoquocte

Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Doan Khac Viet told a regular press briefing today [May 23].

He made the statement in response to a question about China’s latest move to allow the China Coast Guard to detain foreigners for up to 30 days without trial for what it calls “violating or aiding the violation of waters” it claims illegally.

“Vietnam has consistently stated that it has the legal and historical justification to assert its sovereignty over the two archipelagos of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa in accordance with international law, as well as Vietnam’s sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction over maritime zones delimited in conformity with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” Viet told the press conference.

Recently, Chinese media reported that the country’s new regulation, which came into force on May 16 allows for detention for 60 days, with provincial maritime authorities empowered to decide on the length of detention.

The Philippine legislators and officials have protested the regulation fearing it would be applied to the South China Sea (called the East Sea in Vietnamese).

Also at the press conference, the Vietnamese official stressed “Vietnam firmly rejects any associated actions that infringe upon its sovereignty” when he was asked to talk about China’s another move. Recently, China has deployed People’s Liberation Army Navy hospital ships in the South China Sea.

News of the ship Youai was aired on CCTV on May 21, announcing its 600-mile voyage to structures in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in one week. No time frame was given for the mission except that it would be to check, advise and treat Chinese soldiers illegally stationed in the archipelago.

China seized Vietnam’s Hoang Sa in 1974 in a bloody battle.