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Vietnam, Philippines criticise Chinese military drills in South China Sea

The Philippines said China’s exercises near the Paracel Islands were ‘highly provocative’ while Vietnam said they violate its sovereignty

Hanoi and Manila warned of growing insecurity in Southeast Asia at an Asean summit last week, amid concerns that China is advancing its territorial claims

Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry sent a diplomatic note to China to oppose exercises that “seriously violate Vietnam’s sovereignty”


Vietnam and the Philippines on Thursday criticised China’s holding of military drills in a disputed part of the South China Sea, warning it could create tension in the region and affect Beijing’s relationship with its neighbours.

Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said China’s exercises in the waters near the Paracel Islands were “highly provocative”, while Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry called them a violation of sovereignty that could be “detrimental” to Beijing’s relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

China scheduled five days of drills from Wednesday near the Paracels according to a June 27 announcement by the Hainan’s Maritime Safety Administration. Vietnam has overlapping claims with China over the Paracels.

Vietnam and the Philippines have been the most vocal regional opponents to what they see as Chinese overreach in the South China Sea and its disregard for boundaries outlined in international maritime law.

Read more: South China Morning Post