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Vietnam reasserts rejection of all illegal East Sea claims

By Nguyen Tien   January 14, 2022 | 08:58 am PT
Vietnam reasserts rejection of all illegal East Sea claims
The Fiery Cross Reef on Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago is shown in this handout satellite image dated September 3, 2015 provided by CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/Digital Globe. Photo by Reuters
Vietnam reaffirmed Friday its opposition to all claims that are not consistent with international laws including UNCLOS, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The reaffirmation was made by foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang when asked to comment on the U.S. publishing a document rejecting China's "nine-dash line" claim in the East Sea. The East Sea is known internationally as the South China Sea.

"Vietnam recognizes the U.S. State Department's publication of a report titled Limits in the Seas No. 150," she said.

On East Sea disputes, Vietnam has repeatedly affirmed its consistent and clear view that it "always opposes and does not accept any claim inconsistent with international laws, including UNCLOS, Hang stressed.

"Vietnam once again asks relevant parties to respect Vietnam's sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the East Sea, respect legal and diplomatic processes, implement active and substantive contributions to maintaining peace, stability, security, safety, freedom of maritime and aviation, the integrity of UNCLOS and rules-based order," Hang said.

On Wednesday, the State Department's Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs released a research document that said China has unlawfully claimed sovereignty or some form of "exclusive jurisdiction" over most of the East Sea.

"These claims gravely undermine the rule of law in the oceans and numerous universally recognized provisions of international law reflected in the UNCLOS," the paper said.

The 47-page document is an update of a 2014 study that refuted China's so-called "nine-dash line" in the South China Sea. It says the "U.S. State Department continues to urge China to stop illegal and coercive activities in the East Sea."

In 2020, then-secretary of state Mike Pompeo explicitly backed claims of Southeast Asian nations in the South China Sea.

The "nine-dash line" that China unilaterally drew to claim unreasonable sovereignty over almost the entire area of the East Sea has been repeatedly rejected by many countries.

China has also illegally occupied and built artificial islands on Vietnam's Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago and militarized them into outposts at sea.

 
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