The international workshop on the East Sea (Source: VNA)
Paris (VNA) – A string of activities, including an exhibition, a film screening and an international workshop, were held in Paris on December 12 with the aim of raising the awareness and knowledge of French friends and Vietnamese people in France about sovereignty disputes in the East Sea.

The events were co-organised by the Vietnamese People’s Association in France, the France-Vietnam Friendship Association, the Vietnamese Students’ Association in France, a group of researchers on the East Sea and the Centre for Information and Data on Vietnam.

The exhibition introduced a collection of ancient maps drawn by European adventurers and oceanographers in the 18 th and 19 th centuries, along with official administrative papers and royal decrees issued during the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945) that affirm Vietnam’s sovereignty over Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos.

Also on display were China’s latest maps showing the “U-shaped line” that covers almost the entire East Sea, and satellite images of China’s illegal land reclamation on Da Gac Ma ( Johnson South Reef) , Da Chu Thap ( Fiery Cross Reef) and Da Su Bi ( Subi Reef ) , as well as the country’s military drills on the man-made islands.

Meanwhile, the international workshop heard reports by both Vietnamese and French scholars who expressed their concerns over tensions in the East Sea as a consequence of multilateral sovereignty disputes.

They noted that the threat of conflicts in the East Sea is rising by China’s move to strengthen its naval power as well as its provocative acts such as the illegal placement of its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou- 981 in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone in May 2014 or the use of Liaoning aircraft carrier in military exercise.

The scholars said any conflict in the East Sea would affect the entire world as the waters house an important international maritime route. They expressed their hope that all disputes should be settled through peaceful dialogues on the basis of international law, in order to ensure peace and stability in the region as well as maritime freedom in the East Sea.-VNA