Vietnam protests Taiwan's fire drill exercise plan on island

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday protested Taiwan's plan to conduct a life fire military exercise on Ba Binh (Itu Aba) Island in the Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago, which is sovereign Vietnamese territory.

MOFA spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi told a press briefing Vietnam had asked Taiwan to cancel the plan.

"That Taiwan plans to hold a live-fire drill on the island is a serious violation of Vietnam's sovereignty, threatening peace, stability, security and maritime safety, causing tensions and making the situation on the East Sea more complicated."

Taiwan has informed neighboring countries that it plans to conduct a live-fire training exercise on the Ba Binh Island (called Taiping Island by Taiwan) from September 1 to 5 to reinforce its claim on the East Sea, the Taipei Times reported Tuesday.

Ba Binh is the largest island in Truong Sa and is some 860 miles from Taiwan. It is also the only island where fresh water is available.

Taiwan has illegally occupied the island since 1956.

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