The head of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) District government on Thursday condemned China’s illegal activities on the Hoang Sa Islands as well as in the East Sea, internationally known as South China Sea, Vietnam News Agency reported.
Vo Cong Chanh, chairman of the Hoang Sa District People’s Committee in Da Nang City, raised the objection after China’s Hainan provincial administration announced on Tuesday that it will establish four so-called "people’s armed forces" departments in the so-called Sansha city that China illegally built in Hoang Sa and China held drills in Phu Lam Island in Hoang Sa.
Mr. Chanh said China’s unilateral actions on Hoang Sa and the East Sea over the past time are seriously threatening security, safety, aviation and navigation freedom on the East Sea and maritime interests of other countries as well as the two countries’ friendship and regional peace, stability and development.
“We protest and demand that China immediately stop illegal activities on Vietnam’s Hoang Sa Islands as well as the East Sea to maintain friendship, peace and cooperation between the two countries and in the region,” he said.
He reiterated that Hoang Sa archipelago belongs to Vietnam, noting that China used force to occupy the archipelago on January 19, 1974.
Since then, all activities conducted by China in the archipelago are illegal, violating Vietnam’s sovereignty and running counter to international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, he said.
On January 3, China for the first time publicized photos showing its military forces holding exercises on Fiery Cross Reef in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands that it illegally occupied since 1988.
Beijing has been particularly aggressive in conducting reclamation activities on reefs and islets it illegally occupied in Truong Sa over the past year.
On Thursday, Pham Thu Hang, deputy spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a press briefing that China’s building of a military base on the Fiery Cross Reef is a violation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea of which China is a signatory.
China’s act could not change the fact that Vietnam has indisputable sovereignty over Truong Sa and Hoang Sa archipelagos, she said.
She added that all activities conducted in the areas by any party without Vietnam’s consent is illegal and void.