China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday reiterated that China has sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the Nansha Islands and adjacent waters nearing Vanguard Bank, rejecting Vietnam’s repeated claims that China’s research in the area has infringed on its sovereignty.
The operation of the Chinese side in its jurisdiction in the South China Sea is legal, reasonable and beyond reproach, Geng Shuang, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a routine press conference on Wednesday.
Geng said that the Vietnamese side should immediately stop the unilateral infringement activities and restore harmony and tranquility to the relevant sea areas.
Since May, Vietnam has unilaterally conducted drilling activities for oil and gas in waters under China’s jurisdiction in the South China Sea, which seriously infringes on China’s interests and violates bilateral agreements between China and Vietnam as well as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Geng said.
Geng said that China would like to work with the Vietnamese side to deal with related issues through friendly negotiations.
Geng’s remarks came after a spokesperson for the Vietnamese foreign ministry said that Vietnam resolutely opposes Chinese scientific research ship Haiyang Dizhi 8’s continued violations of Vietnam’s sovereignty rights and jurisdiction in territorial waters as defined in the UNCLOS.
The spokesperson also said that acts that hinder Vietnam’s oil and gas activities in its territorial waters are violating international law.