Hanoi has requested that Beijing immediately cancel its national marine functional zoning plan that illegally includes Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes.
Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Le Hai Binh made the request on Wednesday in response to reporters’ questions on the recent adoption of the plan by the Chinese State Council.
“Vietnam resolutely opposes the plan and demands that China respect its sovereignty and immediately desist the wrongful action to contribute practically to the promotion of friendship and cooperation between the two countries as well as maintaining peace and stability in the East Vietnam Sea,” the spokesman said.
“Vietnam has repeatedly affirmed its indisputable sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa. All activities of foreign parties in these areas without Vietnam’s permission break international law, violate the Vietnamese sovereignty, and are therefore null and void,” Binh said.
On August 21, Chinese media reported that the Chinese State Council had approved the national marine functional zoning plan.
Accordingly, China will have the following marine functional zones: prioritized zones for exploitation and development, key zones for exploitation and development, limited zones for exploitation and development, and prohibited zone for exploitation and development.
These zones cover a total area of 380,000km2 of water surface in its inland waterways and the waters China claims to be under its sovereignty.
The prioritized zone for exploitation and development spans the seas adjacent to the waters of China’s Hainan Province and to the Gulf of Tonkin.
The plan is focused on three functions, including urban building, agricultural and fishery development, and ecological environment promotion, especially for prioritized zones.