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Vietnam asked China to end East Sea sovereignty violations

March 27, 2021 | 00:25

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang has stated China's violation to Vietnam's sovereignty near the Spratly Islands and demanded China to end this action.

organizations agencies in hanoi donate vnd 12 bil to fund for sea islands Organizations, agencies in Hanoi donate VND 12 bil to fund for sea, islands
soldiers in white blouse dedicated to truong sa islands Soldiers in white blouse dedicated to Truong Sa Islands
vietnam calls for peace in south china sea bien dong sea Vietnam calls for peace in South China Sea (Bien Dong Sea)
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The Grierson Reef of the Spratly Islands. Photo by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Vietnam has sufficient legal and historical evidence to affirm its sovereignty over the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago in accordance with international law. As a littoral nation and a member of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the country is entitled to enjoy sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction over its territorial waters, established by the convention,” the official stated.

"The activities of Chinese ships in the waters off Grierson Reef seriously violate Vietnam’s sovereignty and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)," Foreign Affairs Ministry spokewoman Le Thi Thu Hang said Thursday.

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Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang (Photo: VOV)

"This goes against the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and complicates the situation in the sea. Vietnam demands that China ends its violations, respects Vietnam's sovereignty, comply with the DOC and not complicate the situation further," Hang said.

Chinese ships’ activities within the territorial waters of Sinh Ton Dong island in in Vietnam’s Spratly archipelago violated Vietnam’s sovereignty and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the operation of foreign ships in coastal countries’ territorial waters and ran counter to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC). This complicated the situation and undermined the negotiation of the Code of Conduct (COC) between ASEAN and China, Hang added, VOV reported.

Vietnam requested that China stop this violation, respect Vietnam’s sovereignty, abide by UNCLOS, seriously comply with DOC, practice restraint, create a favorable environment for COC negotiation as a contribution to maintaining peace, security, stability, and legal order at sea in the region, the spokesperson said.

The Grierson Reef belongs to Spratly Islands and is part of Sinh Ton Commune, Truong Sa District in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa.

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Photo: VnExpress

Hang said Vietnam's maritime law enforcement forces are fulfilling their obligations under Vietnamese and international laws, such as UNCLOS, in coping with the issue.

The Philippines Coast Guard announced earlier that some 220 vessels, believed to be manned by Chinese maritime militia personnel, were seen operating near a reef in the South China Sea on March 7. The vessels kept the light on overnight, but have not engaged in any fishing activities despite the convenient weather.

Philippine military chief Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana confirmed Monday that the ships are still in the area and the Philippines is making an accounting of the exact number of vessels, according to VnExpress.

The U.S. Embassy has said it shared the concerns of the Philippines and accused China of using "maritime militia to intimidate, provoke, and threaten other nations, which undermines peace and security in the region."

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Photo: AFP

An international tribunal in 2016 invalidated China’s claim to 90 percent of the South China Sea, but Beijing does not recognize the ruling. China has in recent years built islands in the waters, putting air strips on some of them.

Vietnam backs and values the supporting role of the UN, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Libya, regional organisations and the international community in stabilizing the situation and seeking a long-term peaceful solution to the Libya issue, Hang stated.

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Photo: AP

Vietnam and China have a deeply rooted though sometimes uneasy diplomatic history. While interactions between the two countries go back millennia, 2020 marks the seventieth anniversary of official diplomatic ties between the two countries’ current political regimes. In January 1950, the People’s Republic of China became the first country to formally recognize the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The two sides formalized neighborly relations under the principles of “friendly Sino-Vietnam relations for peace, stability and prosperity.”

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Chau Polly