More than 50 scholars and experts are gathering in Ho Chi Minh City for an international conference on East Sea disputes in 2014, which is hosted by the Ton Duc Thang University on July 25 and 26.

The participants include those from the United States, Sweden, India, Australia, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, China and Russia, besides domestic researchers.

Opening the event, Chairman of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour Dang Ngoc Tung said disputes on the East Sea during recent years not only affect the livelihood of thousands of fishermen who depend on their traditional fishing ground in this sea, but also threaten peace and navigation freedom in the region.

In this context, the organisation of international workshops with the participation of international policy makers and scholars is very necessary in order to seek optimal solutions to East Sea issues in line with Vietnam’s peace-loving tradition and moderate diplomatic policy, he said.

Professor Nguyen Manh Hung from George Mason University, the US, emphasized that this workshop should focus on seeking solutions to enable fishermen to continue fishing in their traditional fishing grounds on the East Sea.

According to Dr. S.D. Pradhan from Chandigarh University, former Deputy National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India, the international community has made great efforts, particularly though agreements signed between nations, to maintain peace. However, these efforts were ignored by China, who is undertaking aggressive acts in the East Sea.

He said to deal with the current disputes, the international community should raise a common voice which should be strong enough to make concerned sides to abide by international law.

Prof. Ramses Amer from the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Sweden, was of the view that countries involved in a same issue should work together to counter China’s demands, particularly its stance of dealing with disputes through bilateral talks.

More than 20 papers are expected to be presented at the two day conference, focusing on managing conflicts in a peaceful manner and resolving disputes based on international law.-VNA