Vietnam responds after Chinese minister calls for ‘people’s war’ at sea


The two countries continue to trade diplomatic barbs over the flashpoint South China Sea.
“Officials of other countries need to speak and act in accordance with official statements as well as their nations’ obligations, that is, repecting international law, refraining from using or threatening to use force, and actively contributing to peace and stability in the region and the world,” Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said at a press briefing on Thursday.

The comments follow a Chinese minister’s call for the country’s army, police and people to prepare for a war at sea.

China’s Xinhua news agency on August 2 reported that Chinese defense minister Chang Wanquan had urged preparations for a “people’s war at sea” to counter offshore security threats and safeguard what he called Chinese sovereignty.

Chang’s comments came after an international tribunal on July 12 dismissed China’s claim to most of the waters in the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea. China has angrily rejected the judgement.