Vietnam has demanded China respect and not violate Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, said Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang.
Le made the above statement in reply to reporters’ query on Vietnam’s reaction to an announcement by China’s Hainan Maritime Safety Administration that military drills would start in the East Sea from March 5-15.
Part of the area where the drills are taking place is well within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982), said the Spokesperson.
Vietnam also asked China not to take actions that may further complicate the situation, thus contributing to the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the East Sea, she added.
Le stated that Vietnam always keeps close watch on developments in the East Sea and exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in accordance with international law, particularly the UNCLOS 1982, the Government news website reported.
China claims a large part of the disputed waterway, on which major shipping lanes lie, and has built artificial islands and airfields on some of its reefs and islets, to widespread concern in the region and in the United States.
In 2014, tension between Vietnam and China rose to its highest levels in decades when a Chinese oil rig started drilling in Vietnamese waters. The incident triggered boat rammings by both sides and anti-China riots in Vietnam, according to Reuters.