China has violated Vietnam's sovereignty when it licensed a travel company to send tourists to the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago, the foreign ministry's spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said Thursday.
Vietnam holds indisputable sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos, so every foreign activity that occurs there without the country's permission is a violation of its sovereignty, Nghi said.
Such unpermitted activities are also against the 2002 Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, he stressed.
The official made the statement at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' periodical press briefing in response to recent reports about authorities in China's Hunan Province licensing a travel company to send its tourists from the Hainan Island to Hoang Sa.
The license was reported to be issued on November 22.
Hoang Sa is located some 200 sea miles from the Ly Son Island, the central province of Quang Ngai.