|Russian researcher Grigory Trofimchuk (Photo: VNA)
Talking with Vietnam News Agency (VNA) correspondents in Russia, Chairman of the Expert Council of the Eurasian Foundation for Support of Scientific Research Grigory Trofimchuk said such inappropriate acts of Chinese vessels have been condemned by the public, but China has still deliberately ignored.
He said China should exercise self-restraint and avoid similar acts, and stay calm to properly settle existing issues through peaceful measures.
According to the expert, the incident occurred amid rising uncertainties across the world, including the COVID-19 pandemic, which could worsen the East Sea issue.
He noted that as the number of similar incidents is increasing steadily, researchers will pay attention to and condemn them at international seminars and forums on the East Sea issue.
In every circumstance, Vietnam is not alone in the East Sea issue, he stressed, expressing his belief that the international community will raise their voice to support Vietnam.
Trofimchuk suggested that Vietnam should take full advantage of its international tools, including its non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council, as well as cooperation mechanisms within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), especially when the country holds the bloc’s chairmanship this year.
Sharing the same opinion with Trofimchuk, Prof. Vladimur Kolotov from the Saint Petersburg State University said China is making corrupt use of the time when many countries worldwide, including Russia and the US, are pooling resources to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, to increase its influence in the East Sea.
He recommended regional countries to stay alert against a new wave of escalating tensions in the East Sea, amid the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world.
Earlier, while answering to reporters’ queries about the incident, spokeswoman of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Le Thi Thu Hang said on April 3 that Vietnam has sufficient legal grounds and historical evidence affirming its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos in accordance with international law.
Such an act by the China coast guard ship violates Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Paracel islands, causing damage, threatening the safety of life and the legitimate interests of Vietnamese fishermen.
It also went against the common perception of senior leaders of the two countries on the humane treatment of fishermen and the Vietnam-China agreement on the basic principles guiding the settlement of maritime issues, and in contrary to the spirit of the Declaration of Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC), which complicates the situation and is not conducive to the bilateral relations as well as the maintenance of peace, stability and cooperation in the East Sea, she said.