|Le Hai Binh, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. — VNA/VNS Photo Lam Khanh
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam is still considering legal options against China, but will continue pursuing its stance that the East Sea conflict should be solved by using peaceful measures.
Le Hai Binh, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said this at a press briefing yesterday. However, he refused to provide any time-line for action, saying that a decision to do so by Vietnamese leaders would have to maximise the interests of Viet Nam and support its rightful course to protect its sovereignty.
Regarding a recent decision by the China Meteorological Administration to include the entire East Sea area in its expanded storm warning system, Binh said this did not change the fact that Viet Nam had enough legal basis and historical evidence to prove its sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel islands.
In addition, Viet Nam recently signed two documents to increase co-operation with the Permanent Court of Arbitration, an inter-governmental organisation with 115 members set up to handle international conflicts.
Binh said Vietnamese law enforcement forces operating near the Chinese rig site had persistently told the Chinese side to withdraw its rig together with escort ships and aircraft from Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.
They had also taken measures to avoid aggressive acts by Chinese vessels that he said had negatively impacted on maritime security and safety in the region.
Binh also said that all activites and exchange programs between China and Viet Nam were still operating normally. — VNS