Nam protests recent complicating developments in the East Sea and asked China, Taiwan and the Philippines to halt unilateral acts that undermine peace and stability in the disputed waters.

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Việt Nam asks offending parties to stop complicating East Sea situation

June 01, 2018 - 08:00

Việt Nam protests recent complicating developments in the East Sea and asked ChinaTaiwan and the Philippines to halt unilateral acts that undermine peace and stability in the disputed waters.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Lê Thị Thu Hằng at the regular press conference on May 31. — VNA/VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam protests recent complicating developments in the East Sea and asked China, Taiwan and the Philippines to halt unilateral acts that undermine peace and stability in the disputed waters.

At the Việt Nam foreign ministry’s regular press conference on May 31, spokesperson Lê Thị Thu Hằng criticised China for conducting live fire drills on Việt Nam’s Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelago from May 9-12

“[China’s actions] seriously violate Việt Nam’s sovereignty, run counter to the two countries’ agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea issues, breach the ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (East Sea), […] and trespass on the consensus reached between the two countries’ leadership”, spokesperson Hằng said.

She reiterated the Vietnamese Government’s stance that the country holds sufficient legal and historical evidence to prove its sovereignty of the Trường Sa (Spratly) and Hoàng Sa (Paracel) islands.

Việt Nam also demanded the Philippines stop its construction, upgrading of the taxiway and other facilities on Thị Tứ Island of the Spratly archipelago and asked for restraint and compliance with the declaration of conduct on the East Sea in order to prevent the disputes from escalating, Hằng said.

Likewise, Việt Nam views the recent military activities of Taiwan, including live-fire drills on Ba Bình (Itu Aba) Island from May 23-25, as acts that constitute “serious threats” to peace and maritime security.

Việt Nam asked that all parties to the dispute not repeat aggressive behaviours and act in accordance with international law, especially UNCLOS 1982, and with full respect for Việt Nam’s incontestable sovereignty, Hằng said.

She also said Việt Nam’s oil exploration and exploitation continues as normal in the country’s sovereign waters.

Việt Nam attends G7

At the conference, the Foreign Affairs Ministry announced that at the invitation of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc will be attending the expanded G7 Summit in Canada and pay an official visit to the North American country from June 8-10.

This will mark the second time Việt Nam will participate in the forum—one of the world’s most important multilateral groups—as an invited guest; the first was in 2016 for the 43rd G7 Summit in Japan.

The trip takes place as Việt Nam and Canada celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties and seek to propel their strategic partnership in several areas: economics and trade, investment, science and technology, sustainable development, climate adaptation, and renewable energy.

According to spokesperson Hằng, the Vietnamese Government leader is expected to deliver a speech at the expanded session of the summit and hold bilateral meetings with other participating countries.

Regarding the possible US imposition of an anti-dumping tax on Vietnamese steel products, as the Department of Commerce alleges the Vietnamese products originate in China, spokesperson Hằng said Vietnamese authorities have been working closely with their American counterparts to verify the products in question. Việt Nam asks for “fair and objective” consideration during the resolution of any trade issues that emerge between the two countries, she added. — VNS