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Vietnam objects to China’s military drills in Hoang Sa: FM spokesperson

China’s military drills on Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos have violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over the archipelago and run counter to the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry Le Thi Thu Hang has said.

She made the statement while answering reporters’ queries at the ministry’s regular press briefing in Hanoi on July 2.

“The drills have complicated the situation, which is unfavourable for the current negotiations between ASEAN and China over a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) and the maintenance of peace, stability and cooperation on the East Sea,” the spokesperson said.

She added that Vietnam has handed over a diplomatic note voicing its objection and demanding China not to repeat such violation in the future.

Regarding the information on China’s Haiyang 4 survey ship entering Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, Hang affirmed that survey, exploration and scientific research activities in Vietnamese waters defined under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982) must receive Vietnam’s approval in line with the convention.

She underlined that respect for national sovereignty, sovereign rights, jurisdiction, and UNCLOS 1982 provisions holds significant meaning to maintaining peace, stability, security, cooperation and development in the East Sea, the region and the world.