U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper

In a keynote speech at an event in Hawaii, Esper said China has fallen short of its promises to abide by international laws, rules or norms or honor the commitments it made to the international community, including not to militarize features in the East Sea.

China’s organization of consecutive military exercises in the waters to the North-Northeast of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago has violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over the archipelago, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang on August 26.

Responding to reporters’ query, the spokesperson made it clear that China’s act runs counter to the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and complicates the situation, which is unfavorable for the current negotiations between China and the ASEAN on a Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC) and the maintenance of a peaceful, stable and cooperative environment in the East Sea.

“Vietnam demands that China respect Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa archipelago, stop and not repeat such violations,” Hang said.

Source: VNA