Vietnam wants China to immediately withdraw its Shenyang J-11 fighters deployed in Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago, as it feels China is using its massive military force to confiscate the regions that have historically belonged to other nations and threatening regional peace.
“Vietnam once again asserts its indisputable sovereignty over the Truong Sa and Hoang Sa archipelagos. China’s deployment of jet fighters in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa Archipelago seriously violates Vietnam’s sovereignty and directly threatens regional peace and stability,” Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh told Thanh Nien News Thursday.
“As a permanent member of the United Nations with an important role in the region, China should act responsibly and constructively in the maintenance of peace and stability in the region in line with international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea,” the spokesman said.
The US military’s Stars and Stripes newspaper Wednesday reported that the Chinese deployed 16 Shenyang J-11 advanced fighter aircraft – “the largest number of fighter jets ever” – in the archipelago on April 7.
Positioning military aircraft on the island seems to contradict Chinese President Xi Jinping’s vow not to militarize the South China Sea, a statement he made while visiting Washington, D.C. in February, the newspaper said.
It is possible that the new deployment of jets was purposely timed to coincide with the Cam Ranh Bay seaport call of the two Japanese warships to Vietnam, according to the various media reports.