Vietnam tells China to back off disputed islands

The Crescent Group of the disputed Paracel Islands. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Vietnam has repeated requests that China respects its sovereignty and international law, abide by the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and cease “wrongful actions”, according to Hanoi’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh.

When asked for a response to Beijing’s announcement that it finished construction on lighthouses on the Hoang Sa or Paracel archipelago and other islands claimed by Vietnam.

“Vietnam has many times refuted the so-called ‘Sansha city’, and the declaration of the so-called ‘administration of Sansha city’ on concluding the construction of two lighthouses on Hoang Sa islands and reefs in is a further serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa, international law and the DOC signed between Asean and China in 2002, exacerbating tension and seriously threatening peace and stability in the region,” the spokesman said.

China’s actions in any forms and for any purpose on the Paracel archipelago were unacceptable, he added.

Meanwhile, Beijing claimed was not afraid of conflict with the United States in the South China Sea, a state-run newspaper with links to the Chinese Communist party claimed.

However, other states in the region are looking to the US to flex its military muscle on their behalf

A day after the US challenged Beijing’s maritime claims in the region by deploying the USS Lassen to waters close to the disputed Spratly archipelago, the jingoistic Global Times accused Washington of provoking China.

“In [the] face of the US harassment, Beijing should deal with Washington tactfully and prepare for the worst,” the newspaper’s editorial argued.

“This can convince the White House that China, despite its unwillingness, is not frightened to fight a war with the US in the region, and is determined to safeguard its national interests and dignity.”

The People’s Liberation Army Daily, China’s leading military newspaper, carried a front-page editorial accusing the Americans of causing chaos in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Cast-iron facts show that time and again the United States recklessly uses force and starts wars, stirring things up where once there was stability, causing the bitterest of harm to those countries directly involved,” the newspaper said, according to Reuters.

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