A naval soldiers stands guard at the marker of Truong Sa Island, part of Vietnam's Truong Sa archipelago (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh repeated Vietnam’s stance on the East Sea issue at the regular press conference in Hanoi on July 14, two days after the issuance of the ruling on the Philippines’s case against China’s territorial claims in the waters.

He briefed reporters about the Foreign Ministry’s statement sent to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on December 5, 2014, noting that Vietnam supported the adherence and full implementation of all regulations and procedures stated in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), including those on the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention by peaceful measures.

The country reserves its rights and legal interests in the East Sea, including the sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos, along with the rights and interests at sea areas defined as pursuant to the UNCLOS.

Binh added that in the statement, Vietnam said it hoped the PCA would interpret and apply UNCLOS’s relevant regulations in the Philippines’s case to issue a fair and objective ruling. It also asked the PCA to take due regard of its rights and interests in the East Sea.

Asked about the information that ASEAN will not issue a joint statement in response to the PCA’s judgment, he stressed that maintaining peace, stability, navigation and overflight security and safety in the East Sea is the common interest and responsibility of all countries within and outside of the region.

“ASEAN’s consistent viewpoint is resolving disputes through peaceful measures, including diplomatic and legal processes, on the basis of respecting the UN Charter and international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS,” the spokesman said, adding that the grouping also underlines the role of its unity and centrality in ensuring peace and stability and promoting cooperation with partners.

He emphasised Vietnam’s call on relevant parties to exercise self-restraint and respect international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), while not taking actions that complicate the situation so as to help maintain peace, stability and security in the East Sea.

Over the past years, Vietnam’s Party, State and Government have continually supported Vietnamese fishermen to maintain their presence at the country’s traditional fishing grounds, Binh noted.

On July 12, the PCA issued the ruling on the case brought by the Philippines against China’s nine-dash line claim in the East Sea.

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 South China 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