China rejects Vietnam’s claims on Chinese vessel’s intrusion, reiterates sovereignty over Nansha Islands
Published: May 26, 2023 06:45 PM
A lighthouse and a stele on Yongshu reef, Nansha Islands Photo: VCG

A lighthouse and a stele on Yongshu reef, Nansha Islands Photo: VCG

China has sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters and it is legitimate for Chinese vessels to conduct regular activities in waters within its sovereign territory, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a press conference on Friday, in response to Vietnam's "demands" of Chinese ships to "leave its exclusive economic zone." 

Mao's remarks came after Vietnam on Thursday accused a Chinese survey vessel and its "escorts of violating its sovereignty," and demanded that Beijing remove ships from the waters, Reuters reported. 

China has sovereign rights and jurisdiction over relevant waters and there is no such thing for Chinese vessels to enter other countries' "exclusive economic zone," said Mao, noting that on the South China Sea issues, China has maintained communication with all relevant parties

We are willing to properly resolve existing differences through dialogue and consultation, and jointly maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea. At the same time, we will firmly safeguard China's legitimate rights and interests, Mao said.