Vietnam is negotiating with regional countries to step by step address the disputes in the East Sea, including that on sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes, advocating the employment of peaceful measures in compliance with international laws.

The policy was presented at an international seminar on border held in London, the UK, on April 19, by the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO), the King’s College and the Public International Law Firm Volterra Fietta.

Deputy Head of the Department on Law and International Treaty under the Foreign Ministry Nguyen Thi Minh Nguyet told participants that Vietnam welcomes active contributions made by all countries in and outside the region to maintaining peace and stability, and ensuring maritime freedom, security, and safety in the East Sea.

Vietnam has worked together with other ASEAN members in building important documents to preserve peace and stability in the East Sea , including the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) in 2002, and the bloc’s Six-point Principle on the East Sea in July, 2012.

While making efforts to speed up the making of a Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC), Vietnam is striving to safeguard peace and stability in the region by maintaining the status quo, not complicating the situation, and neither taking any violent actions nor threatening to use force.

Nguyet also stated that the country respects for navigation freedom and together with concerned parties ensures security and safety for ships crossing the East Sea in compliance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

Regarding sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes, the representative stressed that Vietnam has sufficient legal and historical evidence to prove that the country has exercised its sovereignty over the two archipelagoes continuously and peacefully since the 17th century.

On overlapping sea areas, Vietnam’s policy is to negotiate to seek an equitable and satisfactory solution for concerned parties based on international law.

Dealing with the East Sea topic, the participants agreed that the complexity of the East Sea disputes triggered technical problems to the solution-seeking process, in particular boundary demarcation efforts.

Henry Bensurto Jr, a senior assistant at the Philippines Foreign Ministry, said under the angle of international law, especially the 1982 UNCLOS, China’s claim on the so-called “nine-dash line” is illegal.

Meanwhile, Professor Robert Beckman, director of the international law center under the Singapore National University, said UNCLOSE, especially its clauses on how to resolve disputes, plays a crucial role in pushing ahead the creation of a comprehensive solution to the disputes in the East Sea.-VNA