Vietnam opposes China’s illegal observatory move

November 9, 2018 – China’s recent move to put into use observatories, that were built on structures it illegally constructed and renovated in the Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelago, seriously violates Việt Nam’s sovereignty over the islands, said spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lê Thị Thu Hằng.

Hằng was responding to queries on Việt Nam’s response to China beginning to operate observatories on several structures in the Trường Sa archipelago at a foreign ministry press conference in Hà Nội yesterday.

“Việt Nam has sufficient legal grounds and historical evidence testifying its sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa archipelagoes in conformity with international law,” the spokesperson said.

“Việt Nam resolutely opposes the Chinese side’s activity and demands an immediate end to the operation,” she said.

The spokesperson asked China to abide by the Việt Nam-China agreement on the basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC); requesting them not to complicate the situation or affect the peace, security, and stability in the East Sea and the wider region, as well as the efforts of countries concerned in the negotiation for a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.