VN asserts archipelago sovereignty despite Philippines’ bill

Le Dung

Any activities undertaken by foreign countries regarding Vietnam’s Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes without Vietnam’s express permission will be viewed as violations of Vietnam’s sovereign rights and are legally invalid, according to the Vietnamese foreign ministry’s spokesman.

Speaking during a regular press briefing in Hanoi on February 19, spokesman Le Dung reiterated that Vietnam possesses a sufficient historical and legal basis to prove its sovereign rights over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes.

He made this confirmation in response to Philippine legislators’ Feb. 17 approval of a Philippine bill, which mandates that several islands in the Truong Sa archipelago and Scarborough Shoal are considered as being under the sovereign rule of the Philippines.

“While seeking a fundamental and long-term solution to the disputes over these archipelagoes, the parties concerned should observe the 1982 UN Convention of the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and refrain from undertaking any actions to complicate the situation, contributing to maintaining peace and stability in the region,” he said.

Sources: Vietnam News Agency, SGGP

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