Vietnam opposes Chinese businesses operating on Paracel, Spratly islands

10:29 16/10/2020
PSNews - At the regular press briefing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on October 15, spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang has voiced Vietnam’s strong opposition to China’s establishment of Sansha city and Chinese businesses’ illegal operations on Vietnam’s Paracel archipelagos.

Spokeperson Le Thi Thu Hang made the statement following news from the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative that reveals China has had approximately 400 businesses operating in the so-called Sansha which was illegally established on Vietnam’s Paracel islands.

She affirmed that: “Vietnam has firmly repeated that it has sufficient historical evidence and legal basis to assert its sovereignty over the Paracel (Hoang Sa) and Spratly (Truong Sa) archipelagos".

Spokeperson Le Thi Thu Hang at the regular press briefing. 

She also highlighted, Vietnam’s consistent stance of strong opposition to China’s establishment of the so-called Sansha city and related acts that she said seriously violate Vietnam’s sovereignty, are not recognized and are detrimental to friendly relations between nations, as well as complicating the situation in the East Sea, the region and the world as a whole.

Additionally, Hang made comments on the recent statement by US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun who proposed increasing cooperation between the quartet (comprised of the US, India, Australia and Japan) and ASEAN, in several areas, including ensuring freedom of navigation at sea.  

“ASEAN welcomes initiatives and ideas to contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in the region,” said Hang. “Vietnam, in its capacity as the Chairman of ASEAN 2020, has set the main goal of building a cohesive and proactive ASEAN for its Chairmanship year”.

She stressed that Vietnam has been promoting its leading role by strengthening the building of the ASEAN community, affirming ASEAN’s central role in the regional structure and expanding the bloc’s external relations.

Given the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hang said Vietnam desires to work alongside ASEAN and other partners to restore the economy and stabilize people’s lives for peace, stability, development and prosperity in Asia-Pacific.

Answering the query of reporter regarding the 37th ASEAN summit, Hang stated that, in role as the ASEAN Chair this year, Vietnam is working closely with other ASEAN member countries to actively prepare for this important meeting. 

"We are also preparing organizational options to ensure security, efficiency and practicality of the event. As ASEAN operates on the basis of consensus, details of the summit will be announced after an agreement is reached by ASEAN member countries", said Hang.

By Linh Bui