China asked to respect Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa, Truong Sa archipelagos hinh anh 1Spokesperson of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Vietnam has full legal foundations and historical evidence affirming its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos in accordance with international law.

The statement was made by the Spokesperson of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang at a regular ministry press conference in Hanoi on May 23 in response to reporters’ queries about Vietnam’s reaction to China’s organisation of the seventh Sinan Cup Regatta, a sailing competition, from April 22-26, 2019 at the area of Duy Mong island belonging to Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago.

China’s organisation of the seventh Sinan Cup Regatta in Hoang Sa has seriously infringed upon Vietnam’s sovereignty over this archipelago, running counter to the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea issues between Vietnam and China and the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), as well as complicating the situation which is not conducive to the maintenance of peaceful, stable, and cooperative environment in the East Sea, the spokesperson stressed.

“Vietnam asks China to respect Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos without repeating the aforesaid activity and conducting others which intensely raise and complicate the situation in the region,” she said.

The spokesperson also fielded reporters’ queries about the information in a report issued on May 20 by experts from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, that Chinese environmentally-destructive clam harvesting boats have increased activity in the East Sea, specifically around the waters of Bong Bay (Bombay) Reef and Bach Quy Island of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago.

She said the exploitation of natural resources in the East Sea should comply with the provisions of international law as stated in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), as well as respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of coastal nations and abide by regulations on the protection of marine ecological environment.

Countries also need to obey their obligations under international treaties on the environment, she added.

Regarding the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula, the spokesperson said Vietnam calls on the involved parties to strictly and fully comply with relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, and promote dialogues to build a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, contributing to peace, security, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.

Pertaining to the trade dispute between China and the US in recent times, the spokesperson said this is a common concern of the international community as it affects the global trade and economic stability. 

Vietnam closely follows the issue and hopes the two countries will resolve the dispute soon through dialogues and negotiations in the spirit of respect, cooperation and mutual understanding, in line with international law and commitments, and contributing to peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and beyond, Hang stressed. 

Regarding the 18th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Hang said General Ngo Xuan Lich, Minister of National Defence, will lead a high-level Vietnamese military delegation to attend the event. 

Vietnam’s participation illustrates the country’s active and responsible role in regional and international matters, as well as its desire to boost friendship, cooperation, and share experience with countries in addressing common security challenges, thus building trust as a foundation to promote cooperation for peace and development, she added. 

This is also a primary goal of Vietnam in attending the event, she affirmed. –VNA