Spokesperson for the foreign ministry Lê Thị Thu Hằng. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam resolutely protests all violations of its sovereignty over the Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelago, spokesperson for the foreign ministry Lê Thị Thu Hằng said at the ministry’s regular press conference held online on Thursday from Hà Nội.
Responding to questions related to the situation in the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea), the spokesperson said Vietnamese agencies always keep a close watch on all activities in the Hoàng Sa (Paracel) and Trường Sa archipelagos as well as in Vietnamese waters in the East Sea.
Regarding reports that several Chinese vessels had been spotted near Tri Tôn Island in Việt Nam’s Trường Sa archipelago, Hằng said Việt Nam has sufficient historical evidence and legal grounds to testify to its sovereignty over Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa in accordance with international law.
As a member of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982), Việt Nam has sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over related waters in the East Sea as defined in line with the convention, she said.
Commenting on a report that the chief of staff of the Philippine armed forces made a trip to Thị Tứ island in Việt Nam’s Trường Sa and expressed the Philippines’ plan to convert the island into a logistics hub, the spokesperson said Việt Nam resolutely objects to all violations of its sovereignty and rights over the Trường Sa archipelago.
“Vietnam requests all concerned parties respect Việt Nam’s sovereignty and international law as well as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and take no actions to complicate the situation while making practical and positive contributions to the maintenance of peace in the East Sea as well as creating favourable conditions for the negotiation on a Code of Conduct on the sea (COC),” Hằng said. — VNS