Over the military drills in the South China Sea Vietnam has delivered a sharp rebuke to China. This is the second such warning in a week as tensions rise between the countries over the disputed waterway. Vietnam and China have long traded barbs over the resource rich South China Sea which is mostly claimed by the Beijing.
In recent months, the tensions have flared with Vietnam suspending an oil exploration project which is operated by Spain’s Repsol in an area off its coast which is claimed by Beijing. In June, the meeting between top Vietnam officials and the Chinese generals over border issues was cancelled with a sudden scheduling conflict on both sides.
Latest military drills of Beijing is condemned by Hanoi in the Paracel Island which is a contentious archipelago and claimed by both sides.
On Tuesday, Using the Vietnamese name for the Parcels the foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said, “Vietnam strongly rejected the China move and seriously request China to respect for the sovereignty of Vietnam over the Hoang Sa archipelago.”
Last week, the China said,” it was conducting a regular military training in the maritime area located in the northwest of the South China Sea where the Paracels are located and were claiming for the jurisdiction over the zone.” Both the two countries fought for a brief bloody skirmish over the Paracels in 1974. China has had de facto control over the islands since then in which more than 70 Vietnamese soldiers were killed.
Some $5 trillion in annual shipping trade passes through the South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits. The Tensions between China and Vietnam over the sea came to a head in 2014 when Beijing moved an oil rig into waters area which is claimed by Hanoi. The sparked move weeks of deadly anti China protests across Vietnam.
The Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia also competing to have claim in the sea.