ICAO corrects Sanya FIR map in East Sea following Vietnam's demand

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Director Lai Xuan Thanh of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam shows Vietnam's Chu Thap (Fiery Cross) Reef in the East Sea. Photo credit: Minh Anh/Nguoi Lao Dong Director Lai Xuan Thanh of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam shows Vietnam's Chu Thap (Fiery Cross) Reef in the East Sea. Photo credit: Minh Anh/Nguoi Lao Dong

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A panel of international safety experts has corrected the Sanya flight information region (FIR) map that had incorrectly included Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago.
The chairman of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) also informed Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam on January 27 about the correction, according to Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Earlier on January 15, the ministry requested ICAO to correct the map that writes Chinese words “Sansha city – China” and draws a symbol of an airport on Chu Thap (Fiery Cross) Reef in Truong Sa, with the English words “Yong Shu airport – Sansha”.
The ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said that Vietnam has indisputable sovereignty over the Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos.
Vietnam has many times raised a voice protesting China’s establishment of the so-called “Sansha city” and its building of artificial islands and an airport in the area, he said, adding that such moves are a violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty over Truong Sa and Hoang Sa, as well as an infringement on Vietnam’s legitimate rights in the East Sea.
Vietnamese agencies also sent letters to ICAO affirming Vietnam’s sovereignty and noting that China’s flights to Fiery Cross Reef has violated ICAO’s regulations on aviation safety.
On January 7, the permanent Vietnam Mission to the United Nations sent a diplomatic note to the UN Secretary General, asking for circulating the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s diplomatic notes to China dated on January 2 and January 7.
The notes protest China’s flights to Fiery Cross Reef in Vietnam’s Truong Sa archipelago and make it clear that it is a violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty and a threat to peace, and to stability, as well as aviation security and safety in the East Sea.
On January 14, the UN endorsed these diplomatic notes as official documents of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly.

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