Vietnam asks China to withdraw its ship from Whitsun Reef

(VOVWORLD) - Deputy spokesperson for the Vietnam Foreign Ministry Pham Thu Hang on Thursday asked China to halt its activities in Ba Dau, or Whitsun Reef of the Sinh Ton island cluster, part of Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago. 
Vietnam asks China to withdraw its ship from Whitsun Reef - ảnh 1Satellite image shows the presence of Chinese vessels in in Ba Dau or Whitsun Reef in Vietnam's Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago on October 17. (Photo: AMTI)


Speaking at a regular press conference held virtually on Thursday, Hang described China’s moves as a violation of international law and asked China to respect Vietnam’s sovereignty.

Hang said: 'As we have repeated several times, Vietnam has sufficient legal foundation and historical evidence to affirm our sovereignty over Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago in line with international law. Having the sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction defined at the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, Vietnam is resolute and persistent in pursuing measures in line with international law to protect its legitimate and just rights. Chinese vessels’ operations in the territorial waters of the Sinh Ton Dong islands of Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty and regulations of the 1982 UNCLOS and ran counter to the spirit and content of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea. Vietnam demanded China withdraw its fishing vessels out of the area and respect Vietnam’s sovereignty.'

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative of the Center for Strategy and International Studies has recently published a satellite image captured on October 17 showing that nearly 150 vessels suspected of the Chinese coastal militia retuned to the Sinh Ton island cluster of Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago. Chinese vessels were scattered in the north of the Sinh Ton islands, and some were anchored near the Ba Dau or Whitsun reef.