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Vietnam protests Chinese stamps featuring South China Sea images

Dec 14. 2016
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By Deutsche Presse Agentur

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Hanoi - Vietnam has condemned a new series of Chinese postal stamps that show images of the contested Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, state-controlled media reported Wednesday.

The stamps, which were issued by the Chinese postal service in October, depict five different lighthouses constructed on reefs that are controlled by China but also claimed by Vietnam, the Tuoi Trenewspaper reported.

Vietnam's Ministry of Information and Communications issued a statement on its website calling for China to, as the newspaper reported, "respect the historical truth" and withdraw the stamps.

Ownership of the Spratly Islands, which are mostly uninhabited, lies at the centre of a dispute between China and Vietnam over maritime sovereignty in the South China Sea. Both countries claim historic rights to the Spratly Islands and have military garrisons stationed there.

The Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan also maintain claims to the islands.

China claims ownership of most of the South China Sea as part of its maritime territory, although a tribunal in The Hague ruled on July 12that Beijing had no legal right to most of its claim.

China, which didn't participate in the court case, declared the ruling "null and void."

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