China urges Vietnam to stop unilateral infringement activities in the South China Sea
China on Wednesday urged Vietnam to end its unilateral drilling operations on Wan'antan of China's Nansha Islands which constitutes an infringement of China's sovereignty over the South China Sea.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the remarks in a daily news conference in response to claims from Vietnam that Chinese research vessels had encroached into its jurisdiction in the South China Sea.
The spokesperson said that China has sovereignty over the South China Sea and the Nansha Islands are within China's territory, for which China has sufficient historical and legal basis.
"Vietnam has been conducting unilateral oil and gas exploration since May, and this has seriously violated China's rights and interests, as well as bilateral agreements between China and Vietnam," Geng said.
"In accordance with Article 5 of the Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, Vietnam should immediately stop unilateral infringement activities and restore peace in the region."
China is willing to resolve relevant issues through friendly consultations with Vietnam, he added.
In the past year, China and ASEAN countries have followed the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and explored rules-based governance of the contentious waters.