Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang made the statement at a regular press briefing in Hanoi on October 4 while responding to reporters’ questions regarding recent developments in the East Sea such as foreign countries’ live-fire drills and US naval ships’ navigation freedom activities. “We always keep a close watch on developments in the East Sea. We once again reiterate that the maintenance of peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation in the East Sea is both common interest and responsibility of nations in and outside the region,” Hang said. “Once again, we affirm Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes. As a member of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 and a coastal country in the East Sea, Vietnam always respects maritime and aviation freedom in the East Sea in line with the convention, she added. This exercise will include a field training element, live fire serials as well as a command post exercise that will test the operability of Australian maritime, land and air elements.