By holding live fire drills near Itu Aba Island, Taiwan is acting in direct violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty over the Spratly Archipelago, the foreign ministry stated Thursday.
“The fact that Taiwan performs live fire drills in sea regions around Itu Aba, part of Vietnam’s Spratly Islands, is in serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty over the islands, threatening peace, stability, maritime safety and security, as well as escalating tensions and complicating the situation in the South China Sea,” spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Thu Hang said in a press release.
“Vietnam resolutely opposes the act and demands Taiwan to cancel the illegal aforementioned activity, and not repeat similar violations in the future,” she added.
“Vietnam has full legal basis, backed by historical evidence, to establish its sovereignty over the Spratly Islands.”
Itu Aba, called Ba Binh in Vietnamese, is the largest naturally occurring island and land mass within the Spratly Islands, which are located within Vietnam’s territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Taiwan illegally occupies the island and has deployed military forces at the location.