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Vietnam clarifies stance on Philippines’ extended continental shelf claim

Vietnam clarifies stance on Philippines’ extended continental shelf claim

Friday, June 21, 2024, 16:37 GMT+7
Vietnam clarifies stance on Philippines’ extended continental shelf claim
Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Pham Thu Hang. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Vietnam has sovereignty over Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos in the East Vietnam Sea in accordance with international law, and it is willing to discuss a resolution to disagreements over such sovereignty with the Philippines, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Pham Thu Hang, spokeswoman for the foreign ministry, made such remarks at a press meeting in Hanoi on Thursday in reply to reporters’ queries regarding the Philippines' submission of an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) claim in the East Vietnam Sea to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).

Coastal states that are party to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) have the right to determine their outer continental shelf boundaries in line with relevant provisions of this convention, Hang stated.

However, when submitting their ECS claims, such coastal states must respect the legal and legitimate rights and interests of other relevant coastal nations with opposite or adjacent coasts.

Vietnam accordingly reserves all rights and interests based on international law, particularly the 1982 UNCLOS, and is ready to negotiate with the Philippines to reach a solution that is beneficial to both countries, the spokeswoman stressed.

In the statement, Vietnam once again affirmed its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa in the East Vietnam Sea in accordance with international law, and also asserted its legitimate rights over its territorial waters established under the 1982 UNCLOS. 

On June 15, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that the country had submitted a claim to the CLCS for an extended continental shelf in the East Vietnam Sea.

The claim, which was approved by Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., was sent after the Philippines completed a comprehensive scientific and technical study of the continental shelf in the waterway.

The DFA said it took Manila more than 15 years to prepare for the submission.

The Philippines was using its rights under the 1982 UNCLOS to establish the outer limits of its continental shelf, which comprises the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas up to 350 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured, according to Philippine newspaper Philstar

The aforementioned seabed and subsoil areas currently hold significant potential resources that will benefit the Philippines and its people for generations to come, DFA Assistant Secretary for Maritime and Ocean Affairs Marshall Louis Alferez commented.

“Today we secure our future by making a manifestation of our exclusive right to explore and exploit natural resources in our ECS entitlement,” Philstar quoted Alferez as saying.

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Vinh Tho - Tran Phuong - Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre News

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