Vietnam resolutely rejects Chinese spokesman’s viewpoints

Vietnam resolutely rejects the viewpoints expressed in the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman’s statement on January 11 regarding the flights of Chinese aircrafts to an illegally built airstrip on Chu Thap (Fiery Cross) Reef in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh

Spokesman for the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Hai Binh made the remark on January 12, reiterating Vietnam’s indisputable sovereignty over Truong Sa as well as Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago.

In terms of China’s recent flights, as the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has repeatedly said, the Ho Chi Minh Flight Information Region’s management agency did not receive any notifications of flight plans from China as the country stated.

When a representative of the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi announced to a representative of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry on December 30, 2015, that Chinese civil planes would conduct flights to Fiery Cross Reef, Vietnam immediately objected, and demanded China cancel that action, Binh noted.

China declaring the flights to Fiery Cross Reef as its own “national aviation activities” is aimed at asserting the country’s unfounded sovereignty claim over Truong Sa archipelago, which seriously infringes Vietnam’s sovereignty over the chain of islands, he added.

The spokesman said China’s flights to Fiery Cross Reef, under any name, affected aviation security, safety and freedom over the East Sea and ran counter to international regulations, including the 1944 Chicago Convention (Convention on International Civil Aviation) and the annexes of related laws of flights in international airspace, especially Annex 2 and 11.

“Once again, Vietnam demands China stop flights to Fiery Cross Reef, not conduct further actions that violate Vietnam’s sovereignty, and practically contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the region as well as security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea,” he stressed.

On the same day, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) issued a statement affirming that the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman put forward a number of false and potentially dangerous arguments, directly threatening normal activities and civil aviation safety in the East Sea.