US sends warship near Hoang Sa archipelago

The destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur of the US Navy recently passed through the waters near the Hoang Sa archipelago.
May 21, 2021 | 15:59
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US sends warship near Hoang Sa archipelago
US President Joe Biden said the US must protect sea lanes in the Arctic and South China Sea. (Photo: Vietnamnet)

Biden: US must defend open and safe South China Sea

President Joe Biden says the US must defend open and safe sea lanes in the Arctic and South China Sea as nations, notably China seeks to assert greater control over the maritime regions. He speaks at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, in his first commencement address as president.

“It’s of vital interest to America’s foreign policy to secure unimpeded flow of global commerce,” Biden said at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, in his first commencement address as president. “And it won’t happen without us taking an active role to set the norms of conduct, to shape them around democratic values, not those of autocrats”, cited Bloomberg.

The US has criticized China for expanding its military presence in the South China Sea. Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week attended the Arctic Council meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, to discuss the developments.

US sends warship near Hoang Sa archipelago

US sends warship near Hoang Sa archipelago
The destroyer USS Wilbur patrols the South China Sea. (Photo: Reuters)

A United States Navy warship sailed near islands in the South China Sea on Thursday, just hours after US President Joe Biden said the US must protect open access to the waterway.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur performed what the US Navy calls a "freedom of navigation" operation near Hoang Sa Islands, asserting "navigational rights and freedoms consistent with international law," Lt. j.g. Nicholas Lingo, spokesperson for the US 7th Fleet, said in a statement.

A spokesman for China's Eastern Theatre Command expressed strong opposition, citing that U.S. actions sent the wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces

But Biden, in a speech at the US Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday, accused China of "disruptive actions" challenging decades-old international rules protecting maritime commerce in the South China Sea and other waterways.

The Paracels has become a hotspot in US-China relations. It was the fifth time this year a US warship had transited the Taiwan Strait as the Biden administration strengthens ties with the island.

Regarding Vietnam, Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated at a regular press conference: “Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos are an inseparable part of Vietnam’s territory. This consistent stance has been expressed many times, including at the United Nations, and has received support and respect from many countries,”.

“Vietnam has sufficient historical evidence and legal basis to assert its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos in accordance with international law,” Hang added.

"Vietnam welcomes countries’ positions on the South China Sea issues which are consistent with international law and shares the view, as stated in the statement issued on the occasion of the 36th ASEAN Summit, that the UNCLOS sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out," Hanoitimes quoted Hang.

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