Uphold international law in South China Sea, Vietnam proclaims at UN meet

By Huyen Le   September 28, 2019 | 08:19 pm PT
Uphold international law in South China Sea, Vietnam proclaims at UN meet
Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh speaks at the UN General Assembly in New York, the U.S. September 28, 2019. Photo by Reuters.
Addressing the UN General Assembly, Vietnam's Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh stressed the importance of abiding by international laws and not complicating South China Sea issues.

"We call for relevant parties in the East Sea to respect international law, especially the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The connection between the Indo-Pacific and the East Sea has a strategically important meaning for peace, security and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region," Minh, who is also Vietnam’s Foreign Minister, said Saturday.

The South China Sea is known in Vietnam as the East Sea.

The government website quoted Minh as saying Vietnam supports all efforts to solve conflicts through peaceful methods in accordance with the UN Charter and international law, including negotiation, mediation and legal means.

"Such efforts have brought positive results in resolving differences and conflicts," he said.

"Vietnam has multiple times expressed concerns regarding the recent, complicated developments in the East Sea, including the serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction rights in our maritime areas as defined per the UNCLOS.

"Relevant countries should restrain from unilateral behaviors that could complicate or escalate tensions at sea, and resort to resolving conflicts through peaceful methods in accordance with international law, including the UNCLOS," Minh added.

From September 26 to 29, Minh is participating in the 74th UN General Assembly and the unofficial ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in New York.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, including waters close to Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Since July, Chinese oil survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 and escorts have multiple times violated Vietnam's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf in the south of the East Sea. 

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