Vietnam on Thursday opposed China’s reclamation work on the reefs of islands in the Hoang Sa (Paracel) an Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands in the East Sea.
The country has “sufficient legal and historical evidence” to affirm sovereignty over the Paracel and the Spratly archipelagoes in the East Sea, Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said, using the Vietnamese term for South China Sea.
“Each construction and expansion project by foreigners on reef islands in Hoang Sa and Truong Sa that is not explicitly permitted by the Government of Vietnam is illegal and invalid,” he said.
Binh said Vietnam has conducted a number of interventions, including high-level exchanges with China.
China's rapid reclamation around seven reefs in the Spratly archipelago has alarmed regional countries and prompted growing criticism from U.S. government officials and the military.
U.S. President Barack Obama has said Washington is concerned China is using its "sheer size and muscle" to push around smaller nations in the South China Sea, drawing a swift rebuke from Beijing.
China's reclamation activities are causing "irreversible and widespread" damage to the biodiversity and ecological balance of the South China Sea, the Philippine foreign ministry said in a statement this week.