Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang made the statement during a regular Foreign Ministry press briefing held on August 6 in reply to a question by foreign reporters regarding the nation’s reaction to China deploying warships and warplanes to entities which have been illegally built by China on the Spratly Islands.
“First, it can be affirmed that the Paracel and Spratly Islands are an inseparable part of Vietnam. All activities in these two islands without Vietnam's permission are in violation of the nation's sovereignty, null and void, and detrimental to peace, security, and stability in the East Sea. Vietnam resolutely protests against the move," the official stated.
Concerning the news that China has set up a surveillance network in the East Sea, the official once again stressed that maintaining peace, stability and security in the East Sea is the benefit and responsibility of all nations in the region and the international community.
Regarding the information that China published an amendment of "Technical regulations for statutory surveys of sea-going ships on domestic voyages" under China’s laws, the spokeswoman said that China's inclusion of Hoang Sa archipelago of Vietnam in its rules for technical inspection of domestic vessels under the 2020 law violates Vietnam's sovereignty over the archipelago, and is not conducive to maintaining a peaceful, stable and cooperative environment in the East Sea.
Commenting on information regarding Australia submitting a diplomatic note on the UN protesting China's illegal claims over East Sea, the spokesperson affirmed that the circulation of diplomatic notes at the UN of countries is normal practice in international relations.
Vietnam's consistent stance on issues related to the East Sea has been expressed on various occasions, Hang said, noting that Vietnam believes that countries share the common aspiration and goal of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, cooperation and development in the sea.
The diplomat also underscored the necessity of respecting the maritime legal order and the full, well-intentioned and responsible implementation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Vietnam welcomes countries’ viewpoints on the East Sea issue in line with international law, and reaffirms its views as stated at the 36th ASEAN Summit that the UNCLOS is the legal framework governing all operations in seas and oceans, the diplomat said.
In this spirit, together with ASEAN members, Vietnam hopes that all countries, including ASEAN's partner countries, will make greater efforts to contribute to maintaining peace, stability, cooperation in the East Sea and to resolve disputes through dialogue and other peace measures in accordance with international law, for common interests in line with the aspiration of countries in the region and the international community, Hang said, noting that Vietnam always makes positive and responsible contributions to this process.