Vietnam has full legal grounds and historical evidence to prove its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes in accordance with international law as stated in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, stated Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesperson Pham Thu Hang.
Hang made the statement at the Foreign Ministry’s regular press conference in Hanoi on April 7 in response to questions related to information on China’s complete militarisation of some islands in the East Sea.
Hang underlined that the militarisation of some features in Truong Sa not only violates Vietnam’s sovereignty over this archipelago, but also cause regional and international concern as shown in ASEAN documents, and is not conducive to maintaining peace, security and stability in the East Sea.“Vietnam requests China to respect Vietnam’s sovereign rights and halt the militarisation in order to avoid escalating tensions in the region, while creating favourable conditions and working with ASEAN to speed up negotiations for a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) that is practical and effective and adheres to international law and UNCLOS 1982,” stated Hang.
Answering questions on Vietnam’s reaction to China’s military drill in the East Sea from March 19 to April 9, the deputy spokesperson affirmed that Vietnam’s stance was clarified on March 7.
Once again, Vietnam requests China to respect and end actions violating Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone that is defined in accordance with UNCLOS 1982, restraining actions that could complicate the situation, thus contributing to maintaining peace, security and stability in the East Sea, she stressed, adding that Vietnam has continued to hold conversations with China on this issue.
Regarding proposals to conduct joint patrols at sea, Hang said that Vietnam always hopes to work with other countries to make contributions to peace, stability, security, safety, cooperation and development in the East Sea on the foundation of international law and UNCLOS 1982 for common interests, meeting the aspirations of regional countries and the international community.
Over the years, Vietnam has conducted joint patrols with many regional countries such as Cambodia, China and Thailand, while implementing international cooperation in scientific research, environmental protection and the prevention of crimes and economic violations at sea, Hang noted.
In the previous month, on March 7, Vietnam also requests China to respect and not violate Vietnam‘s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, and not take actions to complicate the situation, thus contributing to maintaining peace, security and stability in the East Sea.
Answering reporters’ questions regarding the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration’s statement on China‘s military drills in the East Sea, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang stressed that part of the area in China’s statement belongs to the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam as defined by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).
She said that Vietnam has made conversations with China on this issue.