China’s Sansha city election in East Sea under fire
The China National Radio has reported that more than 1,100 Chinese voters in 15 constituencies on the Tay Sa, Nam Sa and Trung Sa islands cast ballots on July 21 to elect deputies to their so-called Sansha city municipal people’s council.

The giant Vietnamese flag made of ceramics on display in
the Truong Sa archipelago.

These islands belong to Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos, and the act seriously violates Vietnam’s sovereignty over the cluster of islands.

The National Border Committee under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed on numerous occasions that Vietnam has sufficient legal and historical evidence to assert its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos.

In a statement on July 21, Le Thanh Nghi, a spokesperson from the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs opposed China’s decision to establish Sansha city that administratively covers Hoang Sa and Truong Sa island districts, currently governed by local authorities in Danang city and Khanh Hoa province, respectively.

On July 23 leaders of Danang and Khanh Hoa voiced strong opposition to China’s wrongful and illegal decision which they said might be detrimental to the friendship between the two countries.

Nguyen Chien Thang, chairman of the Khanh Hoa provincial People’s Committee, affirmed that the Truong Sa island district is an inseparable part of the Vietnamese territory and under the administrative management of Khanh Hoa province.

Van Huu Chien, mayor of Danang city, also affirmed that the Hoang Sa island district is an undisputed part of the Vietnamese territory and under the administrative management of Danang city.

The people’s council election in the Vietnamese areas of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa came a day after Hong Lei, a spokesperson from the Chinese Foreign Ministry stressed that China is ready to implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) with ASEAN countries comprehensively and effectively, and consult ASEAN countries to build and finalise the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).