Vietnam welcomes international contribution to peace in East Sea

By Viet Anh   July 25, 2019 | 02:18 am PT
Vietnam welcomes international contribution to peace in East Sea
A file photo of Vietnamese fishing boats near Da Tay island in the Spratly Archipelago. Photo by Reuters.
Vietnam has taken different measures to protect its sovereignty in the East Sea and welcomes international efforts to maintaining peace in the area, a spokesperson said Thursday.

Responding to press inquiries about Vietnam’s actions following China sending out its oil survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 and escorts that infringed on Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf, Le Thi Thu Hang, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, said the case was "serious."

Vietnam has taken multiple diplomatic measures, including issuing a diplomatic note opposing China's action and demanding that China withdraw its ships from Vietnamese waters, Hang noted.

She said Vietnamese authorities have performed proper measures in accordance with the law regarding the case.

"Vietnam will resolutely, tenaciously defend our sovereignty and jurisdiction as established in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) through peaceful methods and on the basis of international law," she said.

"Vietnam welcomes international support and is willing to join the international community in contributing to peace, stability, contribution and development of countries in the region and the world."

This is Hang's third statement since July 16 regarding Vietnam's determination to protect its sovereignty in the East Sea, which is known internationally as the South China Sea.

On July 19, she had demanded that China withdraw the survey ship and its escorts from Vietnamese waters.

The case has received international attention.

The U.S. Department of State on Saturday said it's concerned by reports of China’s interference with Vietnam and other countries' oil and gas activities.

It called Chinese acts "bullying," saying that China’s reclamation and militarization of disputed outposts in the waterway, including the use of maritime militia to intimidate, coerce, and threaten other nations, undermine the peace and security of the region.

Dr. Irina Anatolyevna Umnova, head of the Russian State University of Justice’s Faculty of Constitution and Law Research under the Supreme Court of Russia, told VnExpress on Wednesday that Vietnam should seek support from the international community to protect its rights on the South China Sea.

The international community should tell China to respect the rights of relevant parties, come to the negotiating table and follow international law, she said.

She referred to the Philippines’ suit against China in the Permanent Court of Arbitration for its controversial nine-dash line in 2013 and the tribunal ruling in the Philippines’s favor in 2016 as a peaceful method to get the international community to focus on South China Sea issues.

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