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Vietnam opposes China’s military drills, missile firing in Bien Dong Sea (South China Sea)

07:33 | 01/09/2020

All activities in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) without its permission violate the country’s sovereignty over the two archipelagoes.

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vietnam opposes chinas military drills missile firing in bien dong sea south china sea
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang (Photo: VNA)

All activities in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) without its permission violate the country’s sovereignty over the two archipelagoes, said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang.

Hang reiterated Vietnam’s consistent view while answering reporters’ query on Vietnam’s response to China informing that it conducted military drills and fired missiles in the Bien Dong Sea (internationally called South China Sea), including Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes of Vietnam.

Such activities are not conducive to peace, stability, order, security, safety and freedom of aviation and navigation in the Bien Dong Sea, she asserted.

vietnam opposes chinas military drills missile firing in bien dong sea south china sea
A DF-26 missile was from Qinghai into the South China, according to a source close to the Chinese military. Photo: Reuters via South China Morningn Post

Vietnam's stance on China's military exercises in the Bien Dong Sea was affirmed in a statement by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson on August 26, Hang said.

On the day, the spokesperson said China’s organisation of consecutive military exercises in the waters to the north-northeast of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa has violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over the archipelago.

vietnam opposes chinas military drills missile firing in bien dong sea south china sea
China's Liaoning aircraft carrier sailing during a drill in the South China Sea in 2018. Photo: AFP/VNA

The spokesperson made it clear that China’s act runs counter to the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and complicates the situation, which is unfavourable for the current negotiations between China and the ASEAN on a Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (COC) and the maintenance of a peaceful, stable and cooperative environment in the waters.

Vietnam demands that China respect Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa archipelago, stop and not repeat such violations,” Hang said/.

Earlier, South China Morning Post reported that China launched two missiles, including an “aircraft-carrier killer”, into the South China Sea on August 24 morning.

One of the missiles, a DF-26B, was launched from the northwestern province of Qinghai, while the other, a DF-21D, lifted off from Zhejiang province in the east.

Both were fired into an area between Hainan province and the Paracel Islands, the newspaper cited a source as saying.

The DF-26 dual-capable missile is a type of weapon banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by the US and Soviet Union towards the end of the Cold War. When the US withdrew from the treaty last year, it cited China’s deployment of such weapons as justification.

The DF-26 has a range of 4,000km (2,485 miles) and can be used in nuclear or conventional strikes against ground and naval targets.

The DF-21 has a range of around 1,800km, with state media describing the most advanced in the series, the DF-21D, as the world’s first anti-ship ballistic missile.

The source said the missile launch was aimed at improving China’s ability to deny other forces access to the South China Sea./.

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