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Vietnam hits out at China

Foreign Ministry anger over disputed islands

October 12, 2012

Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry accused China yesterday of violating international law and an agreement between the two countries after some of its recent actions in the South China Sea. On September 23, Chinese press reported that China would deploy drones to strengthen surveillance of the waters in and around the Spratly Islands. On October 1, China held a flag raising ceremony to mark its National Day on one of the Paracel islands. Two days later, the Chinese navy’s Nanhai Fleet held exercises in waters near the islands. China and Vietnam claim sovereignty of both territories. China “seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over these archipelagos, international law and the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues between the two countries, signed in October 2011,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said yesterday. “Vietnam demands China respect its sovereignty and refrain from wrongful actions so as to make practical contributions to developing the friendship and cooperation between the two countries as well as maintaining peace and stability in the [South China] Sea,” he said. The comments came as the Party Central Committee approaches the end of a two-week general assembly. Decisions made at the conference will have a great impact on the nation, Party General-Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said. Major-General Nguyen Trong Vinh, Vietnam’s former ambassador to Beijing, warned the country’s leaders in an internet post on Sunday not to let China sway Vietnam’s internal affairs. He noted that Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently held a closed meeting with Xi Jinping, expected to be China’s next president, in Beijing. In these actions, China has gone against the Declaration on Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed between ASEAN and China in 2002, thus further complicating the East Sea situation, Nghi said. Related report Expert warns of South China Sea conflict Indonesia, US agree on South China Sea

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