European Council President Donald Tusk (Source: EPA/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - European Council (EC) President Donald Tusk said that he hopes the ruling on the lawsuit filed by the Philippines against China’s nine-dash line claim in the East Sea, issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), will be a positive moment in resolving outstanding issues in the disputed waters.

Speaking in Beijing on July 13 on the occasion of his visit to China to attend the 18 th EU-China Summit, Tusk said the EU has full confidence in the PCA and its procedures, and hopes the ruling will be used to create a “positive momentum” in finding a solution to the dispute in the sea.

Europe will continue to support the upholding of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982 ( 1982 UNCLOS ), the EC official remarked.
Meanwhile, Senior Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said that the EU calls on all parties to respect legal decisions and uphold the UNCLOS, including navigational freedom.

According to the PCA’s ruling announced on July 12, China’s claim to historic rights for waters within the nine-dash line is contrary to the 1982 UNCLOS.

The Hague Tribunal also found no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the nine-dash line.

The tribunal concluded that all of the high-tide features in the Spratly Islands are legally “rocks” that do not generate an exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.

The PCA’s ruling also stressed that China has violated its duty to respect the traditional fishing rights of Philippine fishermen at Scarborough Shoal, affirming that China’s acts make its disputes with the Philippines in the sea more serious.

Replying to reporters’ queries about Vietnam’s response to the arbitration tribunal’s issuance of its final ruling on the lawsuit, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh said: “Vietnam welcomes the issuance of the final ruling on July 12 and will issue a statement on the ruling’s content.”

“Vietnam once again reiterates its consistent stance on this lawsuit as it was fully shown in the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s Declaration on December 5, 2014, sent to the arbitration tribunal,” he noted.

“In that spirit, Vietnam strongly supports settling disputes in the East Sea through peaceful measures, including diplomatic and legal processes without the use or threat to use force, as is in line with the regulations of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, maintaining peace and stability in the region, security, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight of the East Sea, and respecting the law-abiding principle in seas and oceans,” Binh said.

Vietnam once again affirms its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes, its sovereignty over internal waters and territorial waters, the sovereign right and jurisdiction over Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf as defined in line with the 1982 UNCLOS, he stressed.

Vietnam upholds all of its legitimate rights and interests regarding the geographical structures belonging to Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes,” stated the spokesperson.

On January 22, 2013, the Philippines filed a lawsuit with the PCA against China’s claims to sovereign right, jurisdiction and historic rights over waters within the nine-dash line, which run counter to the 1982 UNCLOS and exceed the limits of China’s maritime entitlements under the convention.-VNA