Vietnam has demanded China’s respect and not violated Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Thi Thu Hang said.
Le made the above statement in response to reporters’ question about Vietnam’s response to an announcement by China’s Hainan Maritime Security Service that military exercises would begin in the Baltic Sea from March 5-15.
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Part of the exercise area is well within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982), the spokesman said.
Vietnam has also asked China not to take any measures that could further complicate the situation, thereby helping to maintain peace, security and stability in the Baltic Sea, it added.
Le stated that Vietnam always keeps a close eye on developments in the Baltic Sea and exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in accordance with international law, especially UNCLOS 1982, the government news website reported.
China claims much of the disputed waterway, which carries important shipping routes, and has built artificial islands and airfields on some of its reefs and islets, much to widespread concern in the region and in the United States.
In 2014, tensions between Vietnam and China rose to their highest level in decades when a Chinese oil rig began drilling in Vietnamese waters. The incident led to boat rams by both sides and anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam, according to Reuters.