Vietnam Offers Patriotic Citizens Cruise To The South China Sea, Angers China

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IN PHOTO: An aerial photo taken though a glass window of a Philippine military plane shows the alleged on-going land reclamation by China on mischief reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, Philippines, May 11, 2015. REUTERS/Ritchie B.

The Spratly Islands are back in the news with Vietnam offering a grand “sovereignty tour” to counter Chinese presence in the area. In a promotion, the Vietnamese government offered a chance to patriotic citizens of Vietnam to visit Truang Sa Islands (Spratly’s in Vietnamese) under its control. China has warned Vietnam against any activities that would violate its sovereignty in the South China Sea.

The Ho Chi Minh City government website is offering a chance of a lifetime to see parts of the Spratly Islands. The $,1040 trip would help Vietnamese tourists to visit two reefs and two islands in the Spratly Islands or Truang Sa.  They can also enjoy fishing, seafood and visit a light house, reports Sydney Morning Herald.

The government is not disguising the patriotic flavour for the promotion and urges its citizen to help it to meet Chinese hegemonic claims head on. "Travelling to Truong Sa ... means the big trip of your life, reviving national pride and citizens' awareness of the sacred maritime sovereignty of the country," the promotion said.

This cruise offered by the Vietnamese government is similar to those offered by China in its ships like the “Coconut Princess.” The Spratly Islands are a highly contested space with Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines competing with China for control. This rich maritime region has been in the eye of the storm with U.S. accusing China of altering the reefs with reclamation activities. It also accused China of deploying military vehicles on the reclaimed reefs.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei warned Vietnam of taking any steps which violates Chian’s sovereignty. "China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha islands and surrounding waters. Vietnam's actions violate China's sovereignty,” he said, reports CRJ English.

Vietnam had earlier reported opening of a new school in the Spratly Islands and their troops met with their Philippine counterparts for a friendly football match.

For questions/comments regarding the article, you may email the writer at honeygeorge74.ibtimes@gmail.com

 

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