Hanoi, Aug 1: Objecting to the Chinese aggressive activities in the South China Sea, Vietnam slammed Beijing for conducting illegal oil exploration in the disputed territorial waters, a Vietnamese state-owned news portal said on Thursday.
In a closed-door meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Foreign Ministers with their Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Bangkok, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh lashed out at Beijing for violating Hanoi’s sovereignty and sovereign rights in a South China Sea territory that falls under Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone,VGP news reported.
At the Asean-China ministerial meeting on Wednesday, Minh in his speech, addressed to Wang, expressed serious concern about the geological survey conducted since the beginning of July by Chinese ship Haiyang Dizhi 8, accompanied by an escort, near Vanguard Bank, VGP news said.
“Such activities seriously threaten the legitimate rights and benefits of coastal countries, erode trust and intensify tension, thus they are unconducive to peace and stability in the region,” said the Vietnamese Foreign Minister.
The Minister said international law, including the UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), should be respected and closely adhered to.
Pompeo had been accusing China of undermining peace and security by harassing its neighbours in the region.
Besides Vietnam, three other Asean members – Brunei, Philippines and Malaysia – claim sovereignty over portions of the South China Sea, an area that Beijing claims in its entirety.