Hanoi is seeking clarification on reports that the Philippines is planning to expand its presence in the East Vietnam Sea.
Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang said in an announcement on Sunday that her country would clarify whether or not Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte had ordered his military to occupy parts of the East Vietnam Sea claimed by the Philippines.
The Filipino leader has also reportedly announced that he would make a visit to Thitu Island, which is part of Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago, in the near future.
According to Spokeswoman Hang, Vietnam is keeping a close watch and verifying the reports.
The diplomat reiterated that Vietnam has full historical evidence and legal foundation to affirm its sovereignty over both Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa Archipelagoes.
“Any activity carried out by other nations in the two archipelagos without Vietnam’s consent is considered illegal and invalid,” she asserted.
Hang highlighted Hanoi’s consistent viewpoint on the situation in the East Vietnam Sea, stressing that all disputes be resolved in a peaceful way as per international law.
While waiting for a long-term solution, relevant parties should show restraint and avoid actions that may complicate the current situation or escalate tension, in accordance with the spirit of and statements in the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC), Hang added.