The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry has raised a protest against a recent anti-piracy exercise conducted by China’s eighth naval escort flotilla at the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago.

China’s military exercise at the Truong Sa archipelago seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over the archipelago and went counter to the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), a Vietnamese Foreign Ministry representative said at a meeting in Hanoi on March 2 with representatives of the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese representative reiterated Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes and requested China refrain from actions which could make the situation more complicated, and instead join with ASEAN countries to implement the DOC, contributing to maintaining peace in the East Sea.

On Feb. 25, China’s Xinhua News Agency ran a news story, saying that the eighth escort flotilla of the China Navy conducted an anti-piracy drill in the Truong Sa archipelago on Feb. 24./.