Foreign experts to an international workshop on legal issues regarding China’s illegal placement of its Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig inside Vietnam’s waters have voiced that international law must be respected when it comes the settlement of current disputes in the East Sea.

They shared the view that for mutual interests and development in the region and the world, current disputes in the East Sea must be handled by peaceful measures on the basis of international law, ensuring independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of each nation.

The workshop took place in Ho Chi Minh City on July 26 with experts from the US, Russia, Italia, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, India, the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia, who analysed China’s actions from the viewpoint of international law, while discussing the settlement of territorial disputes through political, diplomatic and legal measures regulated in international law.

Participants agreed that China violated the United Nations Charter and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the agreement on the six-point principle on the settlement of sea issues between ASEAN and China.

They said China’s action infringed upon Vietnam’s sovereign right and jurisdiction in its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf as stated in the 1982 UNCLOS, affected navigation, aviation and international trade activities, threatened peace and security in the region and the world and harmed the friendship between Vietnamese and Chinese people.

Some suggested Vietnam take into consideration the use of legal tools to handle disputes with China, saying the world’s order must operate within international law.

Experts emphasised the role of ASEAN in settling disputes in the East Sea by stepping up the implementation of the DOC as well as the signing of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).-VNA