Vietnam has opposed China for installing ship automatic identification stations in the Paracel Islands, calling it a violation of sovereignty.
“China’s installation and operation of two ship automatic identification stations at North Reef and Bombay Reef in Vietnam’s Paracel Islands is a violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Paracel Islands,” said Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Pham Thu Hang on Monday.Hang was responding to reports that China had in mid-September built two sattelite ground stations at North Reef and Bombay Reef in Vietnam’s Paracel Islands.
Chinese national television then stated that the move would “solve the problem of a blind spot in the country’s maritime identification system” in the region.
“All activities on the Paracel Islands without Vietnam’s permission violate Vietnam’s sovereignty and are completely invalid,” Hang said. “Vietnam requests that China fully respect Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Paracel Islands and asks that the country not repeat similar violations.”
The Paracel Islands have been illegally occupied by China since 1974. The country established the so-called “Sansha City,” headquartered on Woody Island, in July 2012, in a bid to take over the archipelagos in the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands, which belong to Vietnam.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has repeatedly affirmed that Vietnam has the full legal basis and historical evidence to assert sovereignty over the Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands in accordance with international law.