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Friday, June 5, 2015, 16:21

Vietnam's Nansha cruise push interference: China

By Agencies

Vietnam's Nansha cruise push interference: China
Th is photo taken on April 30, 2015 by satellite imagery provider DigitalGlobe and released to AFP on May 9, 2015 by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative department at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSSI) think tank shows a satellite image of a general view of West Yincing Reef which is part of the western Nansha Islands, occupied by Vietnam, in the disputed South China Sea, showing land expansion through construction, with some 65,000 meters of land having been reclaimed with new structures, including a harbour, being added. (AFP PHOT O / MANDATORY CREDIT: CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative / DigitalGlobe)

BEIJING/HANOI - China said on Friday that Vietnam's offer to its citizens of a cruise to disputed South China Sea islands is an "interference" in China's sovereignty.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the comments at a regular news briefing.

"Vietnam's actions violate China's sovereignty. We demand that Vietnam respect China's sovereignty, not take actions that complicate or magnify the situation, and make proper efforts to safeguard the peace and stability of the South China Sea," Hong said.

The comments follow Vietnam's decision to offer scores of citizens a cruise to the Nansha Islands.

In a special US$800 promotion offer, 180 Vietnamese will get to see parts of the Nansha archipelago later this month and take part in night fishing, visit a lighthouse and enjoy local seafood.

High-rollers will have VIP hotel rooms and can fly in on their private helicopters, according to the Ho Chi Minh City government's website.

The elaborately worded offer is for a six-day cruise that will visit two reefs and two islands in the Nansha archipelago.

Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia each have competing claim on Nansha Islands.

The cruise is a trial run ahead of Vietnam's tentative plans to put the Nansha archipelago on its tourism map, including scheduled passenger flights, possibly this year.

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