|Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lê Thị Thu Hằng. – Photo vov.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lê Thị Thu Hằng said on Saturday that Việt Nam has consistently insisted that disputes in the East Sea be settled by peaceful measures in line with international law.
Hằng made the statement in reply to reporters’ question about reports that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte last week expressed his intention to expand his country’s presence in Việt Nam’s Trường Sa (Spratly) islands.
Việt Nam is keeping a close watch and verifying the information, Hằng said.
Việt Nam has full historical evidence and legal foundation to affirm its sovereignty over Hoàng Sa (Paracel) and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagos, she emphasised, adding that any activities conducted by other nations on the two archipelagos without Việt Nam’s permission are illegal and invalid.
While seeking a long-term solution, concerned parties need to practise restraint and avoid actions that complicate the situation or expand the disputes, in line with the spirit and statements in the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC). — VNS