By Mei Jingya, Sina English
Vietnamese Foreign Ministry on Thursday called on Taiwan to cancel its plan to stage a live-fire exercise in Taiping Island, saying the drill will undermine regional peace and stability.
Taiwan has earlier announced the Coast Guard Administration is scheduled to carry out a live-fire exercise from September 1 to 5 on Taiping Island. Asked by a reporter on the matter, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi made the above call yesterday during his second routine press meeting in August, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency.
Taiwan's "Ministry of Foreign Affairs" (MOFA) said on August 20 that Taiwan has informed its neighbors that it plans to conduct a live-fire training exercise on Taiping Island in the South China Sea early next month.
The planned war game made headlines in Vietnam's state media the next day, claiming Taiwan's move was an encroachment on its sovereignty, which will surely cause renewed regional tension.
Luong reportedly said Taiwan’s action “severely violates Vietnam’s sovereignty, threatens peace, stability, security, marine safety, causes tensions and complicates the situation in the East Sea.”
Vietnam recently protested against Taiwan's defense reinforcement on Taiping Island, saying that the move was an encroachment on its sovereignty.
Responding to Vietnam's fresh protests, Taiwan’s "Ministry of Foreign Affairs" said Taiping Island has long been under effective control and management of “the Republic of China” and Taiwan’s sovereignty over the island is undisputable.
“All of our activities and deployments on the island are legal and will never strain regional situation,” the MOFA said in a recent statement.