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Hanoi in sovereignty spat with Beijing
Moves in and around Paracel Islands are unacceptable, foreign ministry says
- ucanews.com reporter, Ha Noi
- March 16, 2012
The foreign ministry says China has recently offered oil and gas tenders for 19 lots in the South China Sea, including Lot 65/24, which lies about one nautical mile from one of the hotly disputed Paracel Islands â€“ or Hoang Sa Islands as Vietnam calls them.
Vietnam also accused China of conducting recent live fire drills near the islands and criticized last weekâ€™s announcement fromÂ the National Administration of Tourism of China that it is looking to expand tourist activities on the archipelago.
Hainan provincial authorities also plan to organize a yacht race from Sanya to the archipelago on March 28.
â€śChinaâ€™s actions have seriously violated Vietnamâ€™s sovereignty over the Paracel archipelago and international law,â€ť foreign ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said yesterday.
This goes â€śagainst the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea [South China Sea] signed in 2002 between ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] and China,â€ť he added.
He called the Paracels an inseparable part of Vietnamâ€™s territory and that Chinaâ€™s actions were not beneficial to the development of friendship and co-operation between the two sides.
He called on China to end all activities that violate Vietnamâ€™s sovereignty over the archipelago and to make practical contributions to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea.