Vietnam condemns China's sovereignty violations at ASEAN meeting

By Anh Ngoc   October 15, 2019 | 06:27 am PT
Vietnam condemns China's sovereignty violations at ASEAN meeting
China's Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducts a drill in an area of South China Sea. Photo by Reuters/File.
Vietnam said Tuesday that China’s sovereignty infringement in the East Sea is leaving negative impacts on regional peace and security.

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said there have been "complicated developments" in the East Sea, also known as the South China Sea, and Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction rights over the waters have been seriously violated.

China’s behaviors in the sea have created disadvantages for negotiations of ASEAN-China Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, Dung said at the 18th ASEAN-China Senior Officials Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (SOM-DOC), held in Vietnam's Central Highlands town Da Lat.

Current situation in the East Sea means the COC is necessary to prevent similar cases in the future, he said.

He confirmed that Vietnam’s stand in the East Sea goes in line with international rules and the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, which Vietnam and China are both members.

Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said on October 3 Chinese oil survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 and escorts continued to expand operations in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf. Hang called the activities, which have been going on since July, a serious violation of Vietnam's sovereignty and jurisdiction rights.

Several developments in the resource-rich waterway were discussed at the Tuesday meeting, especially activities in Vietnam's EEZ.

Officials from other Southeast Asian nations expressed concerns that the current tension can become dangerous and threatens stability in the region if it continues.

They emphasized the importance of non-militarization and self-restraint in all activities in the South China Sea, especially those that could complicate the situation and escalate tensions.

They also stressed the peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes without resorting to the threat of use of force, in line with international laws.

Vietnam's Party chief and President Nguyen Phu Trong on Saturday asserted that Vietnam will tenaciously defend its sovereignty and called for preparedness to tackle "challenges and opportunities."

Trong delivered the message at the closing ceremony of the 11th plenary meeting of the Party Central Committee.

At the opening ceremony of the six-day session last Monday, Trong had urged the committee to analyze and make forecasts about the situation in the East Sea.

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