China responds to Vietnamese South China Sea protests

File photo: Vietnam covered the Spratly Island with a large flag.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman on Monday urged Vietnam to act in ways that are conducive to bilateral ties and the peace and stability of the South China Sea.

“China always opposes countries’ moves to aggravate and complicate the situation in the South China Sea,” Liu Weimin said at a regular news briefing in response to a question on the current China-Vietnam relationship.

Liu’s remarks came after scores of Vietnamese protested on Sunday against China’s South China Sea policies.

Relations between the two nations have soured recently after Vietnam’s National Assembly last month passed a “Vietnamese Law of the Sea,” which describes China’s Xisha Islands and Nansha Islands as being within Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, has sent a letter to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Vietnamese National Assembly to voice its opposition to the law.

At Monday’s briefing, Liu also said the Chinese side always attaches importance to friendship and cooperation with Vietnam and is willing to appropriately address disputes in accordance with the consensus reached by the leaders of the two nations.

Xinhua