Vietnam speaks up as ruling on Philippines-China case nears

By Toan Dao   July 2, 2016 | 06:46 am PT
Vietnam said it hopes the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Hague will issue a fair and objective judgment on a petition filed by the Philippines contesting China’s claims to disputed waters in the East Sea.

Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesman Le Hai Binh made the statement while answering a question about the PCA’s ruling, which is expected to be announced on July 12, the government portal reported Saturday.
Vietnam has already been informed of the PCA’s schedule. As a country directly involving in the disputes and a member state of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), the country has been monitoring the case closely, Binh said.


Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh. Photo by VnExpress/Quy Doan

He reiterated that Vietnam supports the settlement of disputes in the East Sea by peaceful measures, on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 UNCLOS.

Though Vietnam is not part of the Hague case, it stands to benefit from a positive ruling for Manila and has echoed its opposition to China's fortification of artificial islands, the conduct of its coastguard and perceived intrusions into Vietnam's exclusive economic zone, according to Reuters.

China has said at least 47 countries have offered support for its refusal to recognise the high-profile case brought by the Philippines in 2013. However, a senior U.S. official has voiced scepticism about that claim.

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea (Vietnam's East Sea) despite competing partial claims by ASEAN members the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei, as well as Taiwan.

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