Acting Spokesperson of the Lao Foreign Ministry Bounnem Chuonghom (Source:VNA)
Vientiane (VNA) – Laos has been following the East Sea situation closely given the sea area is important and sensitive and called on parties involved to continue exercising restraint and holding talks to settle their disputes peacefully, acting Spokesperson of the Lao Foreign Ministry Bounnem Chuonghom said.

The acting Spokesperson of the Lao Foreign Ministry made the statement at a press conference held exclusively for local reporters in Vientiane on July 16.

This is the first time Laos has voiced its viewpoints on the East Sea issue since the Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague, the Netherlands, issued the final ruling rejecting China’s “nine-dash line” and its “historic rights” in the waters areas on July 12.

Laos has delightedly acknowledged progresses made in the organisation of the implementation of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), including the consultations for a code of conduct (COC) in the sea area and urged for efforts to be continued to push the process forward, according to the diplomat.

At the press conference, the official also informed reporters about the preparations for the 49 th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and related meetings.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration declared on July 12 that China’s claim to “historic rights” over waters within its “nine-dash line” is contrary to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.

It said China has caused permanent and irreparable harm to the coral reef ecosystem at the Spratly (Truong Sa) archipelago, and that it also has no historic title over waters of the East Sea.

The Hague Tribunal also finds no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the nine-dash line, and that China has interfered with traditional Philippine fishing rights at Scarborough Shoal.-VNA