Vietnam objects to Taiwan's claim over Spratly island

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Vietnam's Foreign Ministry has spoken out against a recent trip by Taiwanese officials to the Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago, during which they made a sovereignty claim over an island there.

Foreign ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi was speaking at a ministry conference in response to recent reports about the visit to and Taiwan's claims over Ba Binh (Itu Aba) Island.

"It was a violation of Vietnam's sovereignty over the Truong Sa, and the move has intensified and complicated the East Sea situation. Vietnam demands that Taiwan stop such wrongful acts," Nghi said.

Asked about recent reports that China has put into operation an oil rig in the East Sea in an effort to strengthen its oil and gas activities there, Nghi said countries' activities in the East Sea need to be in accordance with international laws, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, as well as the 2002 Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.

Also at the conference, Nghi told the press that the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had met with representatives from Google after local media reported that its web mapping service was undermining Vietnam's sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa archipelagos with misleading search keywords.

In response to the ministry's explanation of its stance on the case, Google has fixed the mistakes, the spokesman said.

Earlier, following tips-off from several overseas Vietnamese scholars, Thanh Nien accessed Google Maps. A search for "Paracel," turned up "Paracel Islands, China" along with several Chinese names. On the map itself, the islands were labeled "Paracel Islands, China".

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