China expressed its disapproval of Vietnam's plans to open a tourist route to the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea. Vietnam planned to open tours to the islands in April 2004, according to Chinese media reports. A China Foreign Ministry official said that the islands and surrounding waters are Chinese sovereign territory. The official said that nearby countries should honor the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea which was set up between China and the Association of Southeastern Asian Nations (ASEAN).
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