Vietnam's foreign ministry has opposed China's issuance of ID cards and residence permits to Chinese nationals living in a city it illegitimately established within Vietnam's sovereign seawaters.
Vietnam dismissed the residence documents issued to Chinese citizens in so-called Sansha City as valueless, spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a press briefing Thursday.
"The act violates Vietnam's sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos," he said.
China, which also claims sovereignty over the archipelagoes, established Sansha prefecture last July.
Vietnam has repeatedly protested Sansha's establishment and subsequent moves by China regarding the illegal city.
On Wednesday, China issued an initial batch of 10 identification cards and 68 residence permits to Sansha residents, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
China and four ASEAN members Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei are embroiled in sovereignty disputes over the resource-rich East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea.
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