Vietnam supports the maintenance of peace and stability in the region, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation, and the principle of respect for the law on seas and oceans, in accordance with the provisions of international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lê Thị Thu Hằng said on February 4.
Hằng made the statement in response to reporters’ questions on the South China Sea/East Sea at a regular press conference held online by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Activities by parties in the East Sea should contribute to this common goal, the spokesperson said.
Indicating Vietnam’s view after Japan recently sent a note protesting against a Chinese note on the East Sea issue, Hang reiterated that Vietnam’s stance on issues relating to the sea is consistent and has been shown on many different occasions.
All nations and the international community have a common interest in maintaining and promoting peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the East Sea, Hằng noted.
The full implementation of the UNCLOS in good faith and responsibility is essential, she stressed.
Vietnam welcomes other countries’ stance on the East Sea issue in accordance with international law, the 1982 UNCLOS, and shares the view expressed in the 36th ASEAN Summit’s statement, and the Joint Communiqué of the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 53), which states that the 1982 UNCLOS is the legal framework for all activities in the oceans and seas, Hằng said.
"With that in mind, together with other ASEAN countries, Vietnam hopes that all countries, including ASEAN partner countries, will make efforts to contribute to maintaining peace, stability, and cooperation in the East Sea, and resolving disputes through dialogue and other peaceful measures in accordance with international law, the 1982 UNCLOS, for the common interest and in accordance with the aspirations of regional countries and the international community," Hằng said.
She once again affirmed that Vietnam has always made positive and responsible contributions to this process.
Regarding China’s coast guard law, which took effect on February 1, Hằng said countries are obliged to comply with international laws and international treaties to which they are a signatory, especially the 1982 UNCLOS, when they issue and implement national legal documents relating to the sea.
Vietnam has sufficient historical and legal evidence to prove its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos in line with international law, national sovereignty, sovereignty rights, and jurisdiction over the waters in accordance with the 1982 UNCLOS, and it will resolutely and persistently take measures in line with international law to protect those legal and legitimate rights, Hằng said.
"Vietnam requires relevant countries respect its sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the East Sea, and have the responsibility to enforce international law and the 1982 UNCLOS in good faith, without actions to increase tensions, and actively contribute to building trust, maintaining peace and stability, promoting international order at sea, and security, safety, and freedom of navigation in the East Sea," the spokesperson said.