Author: Sebastian Strangio,for The Diplomat

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson accused the two nations of “violating the sovereign rights and jurisdictions of Vietnam” in separate recent incidents.

Vietnam’s government has criticized recent activities by China and the Philippines in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, stating that it “resolutely opposes all activities that violate its sovereignty.”

Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Pham Thu Hang told a press conference in Hanoi yesterday that Beijing and Manila were “violating the sovereign rights and jurisdictions of Vietnam.” She added, “Vietnam has and is taking appropriate measures, which comply with international law, to ensure our legitimate rights and interests.”

Pham also took the opportunity to denounce the Philippines’ recent placement of navigational buoys in disputed waters. On May 14, the Philippine Coast Guard announced that it had placed five buoys at locations in the South China Sea, including at Whitsun Reef in the Spratly Islands, which is also claimed by Vietnam. PCG spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela said that the installation of the buoys, each of which is adorned with the Philippine flag, “signifies the country’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).”

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Sebastian Strangio

Sebastian Strangio is Southeast Asia editor at The Diplomat.

Feature image: China Coast Guard vessel 5205 August 2022 / via Wikimedia Commons