The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has opposed a statement by Chinese President Xi Jinping that the East Sea (internationally known as South China Sea) islands belonged to China.
MOFA spokesperson Le Hai Binh on Thursday was asked to comment on Xi’s statement during his Singapore visit on November 7.
Xi reportedly said: "The South China Sea islands have been Chinese territory since ancient times. It is our duty to uphold sovereignty."
Before arriving in Singapore, Xi visited Vietnam, where he delivered a 20-minute speech to nearly 500 members of Vietnam's National Assembly, but did not mention the East Sea disputes.
“Once again, Vietnam affirms that it has full and indisputable evidence to prove its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos in the East Sea,” Binh said.
“We demand that relevant parties respect Vietnam’s sovereignty over these islands and restrain words and actions that may complicate the situation in order to maintain peace and stability in the region,” he said.