Viet Nam stands up for East Sea

Viet Nam has reiterated that it will adopt every suitable peaceful measure to defend its sovereignty, jurisdiction and legitimate national interests in the East Sea in accordance with the UN Charter, international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), said Foreign Ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi yesterday.

Da Lon Island is a part of Viet Nam's Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago (Photo: VNS)

He was answering reporters' questions on Viet Nam's response to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS)'s appointment of arbitrators to the ad hoc arbitration tribunal established pursuant to Annex VII of the 1982 UNCLOS.

Mr. Nghi said Viet Nam learned that on January 22, the Philippines' foreign ministry sent the Chinese embassy a diplomatic note on the Philippines' proceedings against China to the tribunal.

"As a coastal country with its legal and legitimate national rights and interests in the East Sea, Viet Nam takes an interest in and keeps a close watch on the process of the law suit", he said.

He added that Viet Nam had sufficient legal and historical evidence and management realities affirming sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its waters in accordance with the 1982 UNCLOS, and other international treaties.

"Viet Nam once again affirms its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes, as well as sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its internal and territorial waters, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in the East Sea", said the spokesman.

Viet Nam has suggested that concerned parties implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed between ASEAN member nations and China in 2002, and the Joint Declaration of the 15th ASEAN-China Summit on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the DOC, he said.

The spokesperson added that Viet Nam hoped ASEAN member states and China would "promptly conduct official negotiations to formulate a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC)".

Source: VNS

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