On June 21, 2012, the Vietnamese National Assembly passed the "Law on the Sea of Vietnam." The law proclaimed Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands. However, China claims the islands are the “indisputable” territory of China. Jia Xiudong, a research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, wrote a commentary on Vietnam’s action, originally from People’s Daily’s overseas edition, which Xinhua published on June 23.
In the commentary Jia called the "Law on the Sea of Vietnam" viciously provocative, saying it openly intensified the dispute between China and Vietnam over the South China Sea. The commentary claimed that the law is illegitimate because it seriously violates the basic principles of international law, including the "Declaration on the Code of Conduct on the South Sea," an agreement that both parties reached last October. The article called Vietnam’s government “too selfish” and “lacking sincerity.” In the end, Jia called for counter measures against Vietnam until it backs off on this issue.
Source: Xinhua, June 23, 2012