Vietnam persists in peaceful protection of marine sovereignty hinh anh 1Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam will resolutely and persistently protect its sovereignty as well as legitimate rights and interests in the East Sea through peaceful measures in line with international law and the United Nations Charter, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh said.

At the regular press conference on March 3, he went on to say that the above-mentioned stance of Vietnam has so far contributed to maintaining peace in the region and been welcomed by the international community.

He made the remarks while answering reporters’ question about Vietnam’s next steps in response to China’s continuation of moves causing tensions in the East Sea.

“As a country directly involved in disputes in the East Sea, Vietnam’s consistent position is supporting the settlement of all disputes by peaceful means, in conformity with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea”, Binh noted.

At the conference, reporters raised a question about the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC)’s recent tender inviting bids for oil and gas blocks in several areas, including the East Sea.

They asked whether the oil and gas blocks are located in Vietnam’s waters or in the waters that have not yet been demarcated between Vietnam and China.

Spokesman Binh said Vietnam’s competent agencies are thoroughly looking into China’s tender invitation.

However, Vietnam’s consistent viewpoint is that in areas on which the two countries are negotiating for demarcation, and in overlapping waters off the mouth of the Tonkin Gulf, according to international law and practice, neither of the sides are allowed to unilaterally conduct oil and gas exploration or exploitation activities, he stressed.-VNA