Vietnam condemns new Chinese military drills in South China Sea
Vietnam on Wednesday accused China of violating its sovereignty by conducting military drills in a disputed part of the South China Sea and said Beijing’s actions were “complicating” negotiations on establishing a code of conduct in the region.
China this week began six days of exercises in waters near the Paracel Islands, where Vietnam has competing claims, according to the Maritime Safety Administration of Hainan, an island off China’s southern coast. It was the second set of drills in the area by Beijing in two months.
“China’s repeated military exercises in (the Paracel Islands) violate Vietnam’s sovereignty, complicating negotiations for a Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea between China and ASEAN,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said in a statement.
Vietnam is this year chairing the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has had long drawn-out negotiations with Beijing over a code of conduct in the South China Sea.
Reuters – August 26, 2020