China urges Vietnam to take rational view on military drills in South China Sea

China urges Vietnam to take rational view on military drills in South China Sea

Military drills are to take place in the South China Sea

Friday, September 1, 2017

China has called on Vietnam to take a rational view of military drills taking place in the South China Sea, after the country previously said it was opposed to the move.

Vietnam and China have an equal split of the boundary of the Gulf of Tonkin, according to the VN Express, and tensions are growing between the two countries over the strategic waterway.

Yesterday (August 31) a statement was given by foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang, saying Vietnam was worried about exercises taking place in the Gulf of Tonkin area however it was not clear which exact drills she was talking about, according to Reuters.

She said: “Vietnam proposes China to cease and refrain from repeating acts that complicate the situation in the East Sea.” Hang added that foreign activities in Vietnamese waters should comply with both local and international laws.

But Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying has said the drills are annual exercises and are routine, adding that they'll be carried out in the northwestern area of the South China Sea.

She said: “The relevant sea is under China’s jurisdiction. We hope the relevant side can calmly and rationally view it."

But last month the Maritime Safety Administration of the Chinese province Hainan said there will be live fire drills near the Paracel Islands which are owned by Vietnam.