China’s ‘2023 standard map’ that shows the dash line covering Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos is invalid and violates Vietnam’s sovereignty in the East Vietnam Sea, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday.
The ministry’s spokeswoman Pham Thu Hang made the opposition in response to reporters’ questions regarding Vietnam’s reaction to the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources' (MNR) release of the illegal national map.
Hang emphasized that the issuance of the map including China’s “dash line” shows a violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa, as well as Vietnam’s sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its waters as stipulated in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Therefore, all sovereignty and maritime claims by China based on the “dash line” as shown in the map are void and violate international law, particularly the UNCLOS, the spokeswoman said.
The dash line was previously drawn up by China to illegally claim its sovereignty over most of the East Vietnam Sea, so the line has been internationally condemned and rejected.
Vietnam strongly reiterates its consistent stance on its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa, and resolutely rejects any claims by China based on the unlawful “dash line” in the East Vietnam Sea, Hang stated.
Previously, the foreign ministry has repeatedly proclaimed that Vietnam has enough historical evidence and legal foundation to prove its sovereignty over the two archipelagoes in accordance with international law.
After being released by MNR on Monday, the 2023 edition of the ‘standard’ national map of China has triggered reactions across Asia. In addition to Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and India have expressed strong opposition to the map.
The Malaysian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that Malaysia does not recognize China’s claims in the East Vietnam Sea as outlined in the map that covers Malaysia’s maritime area, according to Nikkei Asia.
“The map has no binding effect on Malaysia,” the statement read.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has also rejected the 2023 version of China’s map, saying it includes the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea, the Manila Times reported.
Meanwhile, the Indian External Affairs Ministry has lodged a strong protest through diplomatic channels with the Chinese side on its 2023 ‘standard map’ that covers Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin, which New Delhi said belong to India, the Times of India said.
“We reject these claims as they have no basis. Such steps by the Chinese side only complicate the resolution of the boundary question,” spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stressed.