As Vietnam has indisputable sovereignty over Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago in the East Sea, all activities of parties in this area without Vietnam’s approval violate the country’s sovereignty, a Vietnamese official said.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Luong Thanh Nghi made the statement at the ministry’s press conference in Hanoi on May 9 in response to reporters’ questions on Vietnam’s reaction to China’s deployment of 32 fishing boats to the archipelago area on Monday.
He emphasized that “all activities in the East Sea must comply with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), with respect to sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction right of concerned countries.”
The official said Vietnam will continue to closely monitor all developments related to the issue.
Earlier at the US-ASEAN Dialogue in Washington on May 2-3, which focused on orientations and measures to promote the bilateral cooperation, the two sides emphasized the need to settle disputes in a peaceful manner on the basis of international law and the UNCLOS in order to maintain peace, stability, security and maritime safety in the East Sea.
In order to consolidate trust and ensure peace, security and stability in the region, the dialogue’s delegates agreed that ASEAN and China need to launch negotiations on the establishment of the Code of Conduct (COC) as soon as possible.
At another press briefing in Hanoi on April 30, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nghi said Vietnam demands that China stop its wrongdoings on the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, over which Vietnam has irrefutable sovereignty.
These wrongdoings included the cutting of the ribbon by Chinese officials to inaugurate the Xinhua bookstore on Hoang Sa’s Phu Lam island, taking tourists to Hoang Sa and preparing for a fishing competition in the archipelago area.
Vietnam has irrefutable sovereignty over Hoang Sa, so such actions blatantly violated Vietnam’s sovereignty, did not comply with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and went against the Joint Statement of the 15th ASEAN-China Summit on the 10th Anniversary of the DOC, Nghi said.