China’s action is a violation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and seriously undermines negotiations among China and ASEAN member states for a legally binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), he said.
It is a provocation because it goes against the spirit and content of the Vietnam-China agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues reached in October 2011. It also seriously affects Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction, while undermining trust between the two countries, the scholar said.
Thayer cited Point 5 of the DOC, which states that "The Parties undertake to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability" in the East Sea.
China’s unilateral action seriously complicates the situation and affects peace and stability in the East Sea, the professor said.
Earlier, the spokesperson of Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry Le Thi Thu Hang said: “Vietnam has strongly affirmed many times that it has sufficient historical evidence and legal foundation to assert its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos.”
Vietnam strongly protests the establishment of the so-called “Sansha city” and related acts as they seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty, she said.
Hang stressed that those moves of China are invalid and unrecognised, and they are not favourable for the friendship among nations but further complicate the situation in the East Sea, the region and the world.
“Vietnam demands that China respect Vietnam’s sovereignty, abolish its wrongful decisions related to the moves and not to commit similar acts in the future,” the spokesperson asserted.