China Cruise Ship to Visit Disputed Islands
China's plans to sail a cruise ship to the Paracels Islands in the South China Sea ahead of the nation's coming May Day holiday likely to escalate tensions.
China is planning to let tourists visit the Xisha Islands (the name China has given to the Paracels Archipelago) ahead of the forthcoming May Day holiday, according to Vietnam's Thanhnien News, citing a China state news agency Xinhua report.
An unnamed 47,000 tons cruise ship owned by Haihang Group with accommodation for 1,965 passengers is ready for sailing.
The official Vietnam News Agency claims the announcement violates Vietnam’s sovereignty and is against the spirit of the talks in which China committed to fully follow the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).
China and four members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei – are embroiled in sovereignty disputes over the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea.
Source: Thanhnien News