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Vietnam opposes China, Philippines for violating its sovereignty in East Vietnam Sea

Vietnam opposes China, Philippines for violating its sovereignty in East Vietnam Sea

Friday, March 29, 2024, 16:32 GMT+7
Vietnam opposes China, Philippines for violating its sovereignty in East Vietnam Sea
Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy spokesman Nguyen Duc Thang is seen at a press meeting in Hanoi on March 28, 2024. Photo: Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre

Sending people to areas under Vietnam’s sovereignty in the East Vietnam Sea without permission from Vietnam is an act of violating the nation’s sovereignty under international law, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Thursday.

Deputy spokesman of the foreign ministry Nguyen Duc Thang made the announcement at a press meet when asked about Vietnam’s reaction to recent activities by China and the Philippines at Sandy Cay, which is part of Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago in the East Vietnam Sea.

Such acts complicate the situation and go against the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the East Vietnam Sea, as well as the efforts of countries in negotiating for a South China Sea Code of Conduct (COC), he stated.

“Vietnam has full legal basis and historical evidence to assert sovereignty over the Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago,” the deputy spokesman affirmed.

Vietnam requests all concerned parties to respect its sovereignty over the Truong Sa archipelago, not take actions complicating the situation, comply with international law, seriously implement the DOC in the East Vietnam Sea, and contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the waters, Thang said.

He emphasized that Vietnam commits to be ready to work with any relevant parties to resolve disputes over territorial sovereignty in the East Vietnam Sea, including Truong Sa, through peaceful means. 

Earlier on March 22, Philippine media reported that a group of ‘Filipino scientists’ arrived at Sandy Cay last week to research, but a Chinese helicopter later appeared and flew above the group, injuring several of its members.

Faced with the harassment by the Chinese force, the group left the area to ensure safety, according to Philippine newspaper Philstar. 

At the Thursday press briefing, deputy spokesman Thang also reiterated Vietnam’s deep concern about the recent tensions in the East Vietnam Sea when being asked about the recent clash between Filipino and Chinese vessels in Bai Co May (Second Thomas Shoal).

Vietnam calls for the relevant parties to exercise self-restraint, strictly implement the Declaration on the DOC in the East Vietnam Sea, and to settle disputes through peaceful means, contributing to the maintenance of peace, stability and cooperation in the sea area, Thang said.

“Claims and activities in the East Vietnam Sea must be in accordance with international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), respect the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of countries as established in the convention, avoid actions complicating the situation or intensifying tensions, ensure the freedom of navigation and overflight, and not use force or threaten to use force,” the diplomat stressed.

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Vinh Tho - Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre News

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