|The spokesperson for Việt Nam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs speaks at a regular press conference held on Thursday in Hà Nội. She called on China to respect Việt Nam's sovereignty in the East Sea. — VNA/VNS Photo Bùi Lâm Khánh|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam has sufficient legal foundation and historical evidence to affirm its sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa (Paracel) and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagos in accordance with international law.
This statement was made by Spokesperson for the Việt Nam Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lê Thị Thu Hằng at a regular ministry press conference in Hà Nội yesterday in response to reporters’ queries about Việt Nam’s reaction to China’s organisation of the seventh Sinan Cup Regatta. The sailing competition, held from April 22 to 26, took place in the area of Duy Mộng island which belongs to Việt Nam’s Hoàng Sa archipelago.
China’s organisation of the event seriously infringed upon Việt Nam’s sovereignty over the archipelago, running counter to the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea issues between Việt Nam and China and the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), known as East Sea in Việt Nam. It complicated the situation and was not conducive to the maintenance of a peaceful and stable environment in the East Sea, the spokesperson said.
“Việt Nam asks China to respect Việt Nam’s sovereignty over Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa archipelagos without repeating the activity or conducting others which intensely raise and complicate the situation in the region,” she said.
The spokesperson also fielded reporters’ questions about the information in a report issued on May 20 by experts from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. It found that environmentally destructive Chinese clam harvesting boats have increased their activity in the East Sea, especially around the waters of Bông Bay (Bombay) Reef and Bạch Quy Island in the Hoàng Sa archipelago.
She said the exploitation of natural resources in the East Sea should comply with the provisions of international law as stated in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), as well as respect the sovereignty and rights of coastal nations and abide by regulations on the protection of marine environments.
Countries also need to obey their obligations under international treaties on the environment, she said.
Regarding the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula, the spokesperson said Việt Nam was calling on the involved parties to strictly and fully comply with relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and promote dialogues to build a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
The spokesperson said the ongoing trade dispute between China and the US is a common concern of the international community as it affects global trade and economic stability.
Việt Nam is closely following the issue and hopes the two countries will resolve the dispute soon through dialogues and negotiations in the spirit of respect, co-operation and mutual understanding in line with international law and commitments, Hằng said.
Regarding the 18th Shangri-La Dialogue, which will take place from May 31 to June 2 in Singapore, Hằng said General Ngô Xuân Lịch, Minister of National Defence, will lead a high-level Vietnamese military delegation to attend the event.
Việt Nam’s participation illustrates the country’s active and responsible role in regional and international affairs, as well as its desire to boost friendship and co-operation with countries in addressing common security challenges, thus building trust as a foundation to promote peace and development, she said. — VNS