Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the Spratly (Truong Sa) Islands in the East Sea. (Photo: Reuters)
Paris (VNA) – Parties involved in territorial disputes in the East Sea should sit together for negotiations after the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)’s ruling on the Philippines lawsuit against China’s claims in the sea, in order to avoid conflicts, a French professor of history has said.

Speaking to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in France, Professor Pierre Journoud from Paul-Valery University 3 highlighted the significance of the ruling as it rejected China’s claims of “historicrights” in the East Sea.

Closer cooperation is necessary among relevant parties to solve the issue, he said.

The expert predicted that involved countries will have to join long-lasting negotiations if they want to prevent disputes and wars from occurring.

Journoud, who is also a researcher of the Institute of Strategic Studies at the French military school (IRSEM), cited successful negotiations for the delimitation of the Gulf of Tonkin between Vietnam and China, which resulted in the signing of an agreement between the two sides in 2000.

Similar negotiation models should be expanded in other waters in Southeast Asia, he said.

Regarding the viewpoint of France and the European Union (EU) on the issue, Journoud said both his country and the EU support international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

France has called on all involved parties to enhance negotiations, he said, suggesting the EU and France use their experience in settling conflicts to help tackle conflicts in the East Sea.

On July 12, the PCA issued a ruling on the case brought by the Philippines against China’s nine-dash line claim in the East Sea, saying China’s claims to historic rights for waters within the nine-dash line are 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 country has no historic title over waters of the East Sea. At the same time, China has caused permanent and irreparable harm to the coral reef ecosystem on the Truong Sa archipelago, the court said.-VNA