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Vietnam condemns China's tourism plan for archipelago

Updated On: Jan 06, 2010

A new development in the territorial disputes between China and ASEAN countries in the South China Sea: Vietnam has condemned a Chinese plan to develop tourism on the disputed Paracel islands.

The dispute adds another facet to a longstanding issue. Tensions peaked in the mid-1990s but China has since sought to alleviate the concerns of ASEAN countries.

What lies at the heart of the disputes is both patriotism and international maritime law, which assigns rights to nearby natural resources based on such sovereignty. The South China Sea is rich in oil and natural gas deposits.

This is a map showing the region and China's territory claim, from the Paracel and Spratly Islands Forum.

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AFP reports:

HANOI: Vietnam has condemned what it says is a Chinese plan to develop tourism on the disputed Paracel archipelago.

The Paracels would be included in China's plan to develop nearby Hainan island into an international tourist site, Vietnamese foreign ministry spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga said in a statement late Monday.

China announced its intention on December 31, the ministry said.

Nga demanded China immediately end the plan which "causes tension and further complicates the East Sea situation".

Vietnam and China have a long-standing dispute over sovereignty of the Paracels and a more southerly archipelago, the Spratlys. Both are in the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea.







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