Vietnam condemns Taiwan’s military drills in Spratlys

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hanoi has just voiced opposition to Taiwan’s live-fire drills scheduled to take place this month in Ba Binh (Taiping) Island in the Truong Sa (Spratlys) which is claimed by Vietnam, according to the state-controlled media.

Late last month, Taiwanese officials announced that the country would conduct live-fire artillery drills in Taiping this month.

Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang said that Taiwan’s military drills in the waters around Ba Binh island “are a serious violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty over the archipelago,” according to Tuoi Tre. Hang mentioned the Spratly Islands claimed by Vietnam when responding to a reporter’s request for comment on Taiwan’s exercise plan on March 11.

This is not the first time Vietnam has protested against Taiwan’s military drills on Taiping Island.

Most recently, last November, Vietnam reacted similarly to news from Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense that one of its submarines had participated in a naval exercise in the island.

It is known that Taiwan has conducted live-fire drills on Taiping every year in recent years amid heightened tensions with China, which has always claimed Taiwan.

According to the South China Morning Post, Taiwan will conduct a series of exercises this month on several small islands it controls, including two close to mainland China, to “test its readiness to the fighting off the forces here.”

According to the Hongkong-based newspaper, the drills come amid growing concern that a cross-Strait conflict could be imminent if the People’s Liberation Army takes over one of these small islands to force self-ruled Taiwan to the negotiating table before China’s goal of reunification.

Taiwan’s drills are scheduled to take place on March 16- 17 and another on March 26-31. According to SCMP, these exercises take place in the morning and at night, simulating the scenarios of fighter aircraft and amphibious assault ships.

Hang said on March 11 that Taiwan’s continued holding of live-fire drills in the waters of the Spratly archipelago “threaten peace, stability, safety, and security of navigation, cause tension and make complicating the situation in the South China Sea.”

Recalling what was often said in the past in statements related to disputes in the South China Sea, especially when opposing China, Hang said that Vietnam “has sufficient legal grounds and historical evidence to affirm Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa [Paracels] and the Truong Sa is consistent with international law.”

According to Lao Dong, the Vietnamese spokesman asked Taiwan to “cancel the exercise” deemed “illegal” and urged the country “not to repeat it in the future.”

Translated by Thoibao.de from the original source: https://www.voatiengviet.com/a/viet-nam-len-an-dai-loan-tap-tran-o-truong-sa-vi-pham-chu-quyen/6486236.html

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