Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera has voiced deep concern about reports that Chinese bombers had landed for the first time at an airport on the East Sea.

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Japanese broadcaster NHK on May 22 quoted Onodera as saying that China had increased large-scale reclamation activities on the East Sea along with the construction of military facilities and bases and other activities. 

The minister said those moves of China aimed at unilaterally changing the status quo and creating a fait accompli. 

He urged the international community to cooperate to maintain and strengthen the rule-based order at sea. 

Earlier, Chinese air force announced that some strategic bombers of the country landed at an airport in Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago in the East Sea on May 18.

Vietnam said the Chinese move seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over the archipelago and ran counter to the Vietnam-China agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues as well as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China. 

Spokesperson of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Le Thi Thu Hang also said China’s acts have adversely affected negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) between the ASEAN and China, fueled tensions and caused instability in the region, and hampered efforts to maintain peace, stability and cooperation in the East Sea. 

The spokesperson reiterated that Vietnam has full legal foundation and historical evidence affirming its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes in line with international law.  

Vietnam asks China not to conduct militarisation activities, respect Vietnam’s sovereignty over the two archipelagoes, observe the Vietnam-China agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues and the DOC, and create a favourable environment for the maintenance of regional peace, stability and cooperation, Hang said.


                            Source: VNA

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