A beaching ramp built by Phililippines on Thitu island. — Photo courtesy of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam on Thursday contested the Philippines’ recent naming of four sandbars and two coral reefs around Thị Tứ (Thitu) island in the South China Sea (known in Việt Nam as East Sea) as “completely invalid.”
The move enacted by the local government of Kalayaan municipality in the archipelagic province of Palawan is said to be an effort at bolstering Manila's claims in the hotly disputed South China Sea region.
Thị Tứ island, known as Pag-asa in the Philippines, is simultaneously claimed by Việt Nam, Philippines and China.
“All activities conducted in the Spratlys without Việt Nam’s permission are completely invalid,” spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lê Thị Thu Hằng said in a statement.
“Việt Nam’s consistent view is that the actions of all parties involved in the South China Sea must follow international law, pay respect to sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of other countries defined in line with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), observe the spirit and the content of Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and ensure that their actions have meaningful contributions to the maintenance of peace and stability in the South China Sea,” she continued. — VNS