Vietnam Protests Taiwan's Landing in Spratly Islands

(Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le dung)

Vietnam reiterates sovereignty over archipelagoes

25 January 2008

Vietnam has sufficient historical evidence and legal foundation to assert its sovereignty over both the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes, Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday.

The comments followed a query by a reporter from Japanese NHK television network about Vietnam’s reaction to a report Taiwan tested a military C-130 plane on a newly-built runway in a Truong Sa island on Monday.

Vietnam resolutely opposes all activities violating the sovereignty of Vietnam over these archipelagoes,” spokesman Le Dung said.

“All activities conducted on Truong Sa and Hoang Sa without Vietnam’s permission infringe the country’s sovereignty and are illegal.”

The spokesman called on Taiwan to cease testing and refrain from conducting any further violations of Vietnam’s sovereignty in the area. Source: VNA
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Asia-Pacific News Vietnam protests Taiwan's Spratlys landing

Jan 24, 2008, 10:22 GMT
Hanoi - Vietnam strongly objected Thursday to the landing earlier this week of a Taiwanese military aircraft on one of the disputed Spratly Islands, a chain of atolls in the South China Sea claimed by six countries in the region.

'Vietnam resolutely opposes all acts violating the sovereignty of Vietnam over these two archipelagos,' government spokesman Le Dung told a press conference in Hanoi.

'Vietnam requests Chinese Taipei to stop immediately this action and to stop similar actions in the region,' he continued, referring to Taiwan.

A Taiwanese Air Force C-130 cargo plane reportedly landed Monday on an islet called Taiping, the largest of the Spratlys, before returning to Taiwan. Taiwan has stationed troops on Taiping, and began building an airstrip there in mid-2006, over Vietnamese protests.

Vietnam, Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei each claim all or part of the Spratlys and the nearby Paracels, and all but Brunei have a military presence on one or more of the atolls.

The waters around the islands are believed to contain substantial petroleum reserves.

Taiwanese President Chen Shui-Ban, whose Democratic Progressive Party was badly beaten in parliamentary elections January 12, is reportedly planning a visit to the islands to assert Taiwan's claim before presidential elections in March.

Conflict over the islands began heating up in November, when China established a new government district, called Sansha, to administer them. Vietnam officially protested the Chinese move, and Vietnamese students staged rare spontaneous protests in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City asserting Vietnamese sovereignty.

At a meeting in Beijing on Wednesday, Vietnamese and Chinese officials resolved to handle the South China Sea dispute diplomatically.
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Vietnam protests Taiwan military flight to Spratlys

Agence France-Presse
First Posted 20:47:00 01/24/2008

HANOI -- Vietnam on Thursday protested a Taiwanese military flight to one of the disputed Spratly Islands, amid reports of a planned visit there by Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian.

Taiwan on Monday for the first time sent a military aircraft, a C-130 transport plane, to one of the Spratly islands for a one-day return trip, a defense official in Taipei said Wednesday.

Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, China, Malaysia and the Philippines claim all or part of the potentially oil-rich Spratlys.

"Vietnam requests Chinese Taipei to stop immediately this action and to stop similar actions in the region," said Vietnam's foreign ministry spokesman Le Dung, using the name by which communist China refers to Taiwan.

Dung told a media briefing that "Vietnam resolutely opposes all acts violating the sovereignty of Vietnam" over the Spratlys and the Paracels, another disputed island group in the South China Sea.

The Taipei-based United Daily News reported Chen was planning a trip to the Spratlys before the March 22 presidential election to underscore Taipei's claim to the archipelago.

Chen, who is to retire in May after eight years in office, planned to take an air force C-130 transport aircraft to the Taiping islet, the biggest island in the Spratlys, the newspaper said.

The trip, if it goes ahead, would likely trigger protests from claiming countries.

Taiwan's defense ministry began building a 1,150-meter (3,773-feet) runway on the fortified Taiping islet in mid-2006, despite protests from Vietnam, and the project has been completed, the paper said.

All claimants except Brunei have troops based on the archipelago of more than 100 islets, reefs and atolls, which have a total land mass of less than five square kilometers (two square miles).
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Malaysian PM warns against military buildup in Spratlys
By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 04:30:00 01/26/2008

DAVOS, Switzerland (via PLDT) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi warned claimant nations to the oil-rich Spratlys in the South China Sea not to assert themselves "militarily," in the wake of reports that Taiwan had sent a military aircraft to the disputed island chain.

Badawi made the call at a plenary session of the World Economic Forum (WEF) here Friday evening (past midnight Saturday in Manila) that tackled the potentials of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Four of 10 ASEAN member nations have laid claim to the Spratlys -- the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam. Also claimants are Taiwan and China; of the two, China is an ASEAN dialogue partner.

"If this is not well managed, we will be facing a very serious problem in Southeast Asian and in the South China Sea," Badawi said.

"All of us must not resort to emphasizing our claim militarily," he said, adding, "If there is a need to solve the problem, it must be done through diplomacy."

A news agency report said a C-130 cargo plane landed on the Taiping islet last Monday and returned to Taiwan the same day.

The report quoted an unnamed defense minister as saying Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian was planning a visit to Taiping.

It added that Taiwan had started building a 1,150-meter runway on the islet in 2006.

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