Vietnam will host an ASEAN Sea Forum and an ASEAN Sea Forum Plus in late August and invite relevant countries regardless ASEAN or non-ASEAN nations to take part, said Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Hai Binh.

Regional officials, who took part in the 47th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-47) and relating meetings in Myanmar earlier this month, welcomed Vietnam’s hosting of the forums, he said at a regular press briefing in Hanoi on August 14.

Binh added the upcoming functions will include discussions on how to maintain peace, security and navigation safety in the East Sea.

Regarding China’s persistent denial of any disputes in the East Sea, the spokesman said ASEAN foreign ministers at the AMM-47 voiced their deep concern over East Sea tensions and urged for similar tension-caused actions not to be repeated.

They emphasised the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security and navigation safety in the East Sea and called for parties concerned to respect international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, settle disputes peacefully, not complicate the situation, exercise self-restraint, and not use or threaten to use force, he added.

The officials also urged relevant sides to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and carry out substantive negotiations to soon finalise a Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC), Binh noted.

At the briefing, when asked about a recent announcement by a US official that Washington will monitor the restraint on activities that trigger tensions in the East Sea, he said Vietnam welcomes all positive and constructive contributions from all countries to the maintenance of stability, security and navigation and space safety in the waters.

Responding to a query on China’s publication of a book explaining the so-called “nine-dashed line”, Binh stressed that Vietnam asserts its undeniable sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.

China’s publication of the book is illegal and void and cannot distort the above-mentioned fact, he noted.-VNA