Vietnam has reported that the installation by China of two automatic vessel identification stations on disputed islands in the South China Sea are “a violation of their sovereignty” and asked that Beijing not repeat similar actions.
The spokesperson for the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pham Thu Hangassured on Monday night that “all activities on the islands Paracel (known in Vietnam as Hoang Sa) without permission from Vietnam They violate the sovereignty of the nation and are completely invalid”.
These statements, delivered at a press conference in Hanoi and collected on the Ministry’s website, come after the publication of information about the installation of these two stations by Beijing on two reefs of the Paracel archipelago, whose sovereignty is disputed by both countries. .
The spokesperson added that Vietnam calls on China to “fully respect the sovereignty of the Paracel Islands and not repeat similar violations.”
Tension has increased in recent years between China and its neighbors over the sovereignty of the Spratly and Paracel Islandswhich Beijing claims entirely for itself and which are partially disputed Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan.
Vietnamese and Filipino fishermen have denounced in recent months the harassment of Chinese ships when they were trying to fish in waters of disputed sovereignty, which has provoked protests from the governments of both countries.
On Monday, Philippine authorities vowed to remove a floating barrier put up by the Chinese coast guard to prevent Philippine fishing vessels from entering a disputed maritime lagoon in the South China Sea.
The 300 meter barrier (980 feet) at the Scarborough Sandbank Salt Lagoon Access is “illegal and illegitimate,” they said. Chinese coast guard vessels placed the barrier, supported by buoys, on Friday as a ship from the Philippine government’s fisheries department approached. There were more than 50 fishing boats around the sandbar at the time, according to the Philippine coast guard.
“We condemn the installation of floating barriers by the Chinese coast guard,” said Philippine national security advisor Eduardo Ano. “The placement of a barrier by the People’s Republic of China violates the traditional fishing rights of our fishermen.”
Ano indicated in a statement that the Philippines “will take appropriate actions to cause the removal of the barriers and protect the rights of our fishermen in the area.”
(With information from EFE and AP)