|Reacting to China's recent tweets over East Sea claims, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang says the respect for international law must be observed.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying this week posted a series of statements on her Twitter account, affirming China has the rights and interests in the South China Sea (known as East Sea in Vietnam) and that Chinese people carried out activities in the waters 2000 years ago.
The tweets were published on July 14, just one day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s strong statement rejecting China’s claims to offshore resources across most of the East Sea and its bullying campaign, describing them ‘completely unlawful’.
At the July 16 press conference, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang once again affirmed that Vietnam has sufficient historical evidence and legal grounds affirming its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes in accordance with international law.
“We believe that all nations must have a common duty and obligation to respect the basic principles of international law,” she said.
According to the Vietnamese spokesperson, peace, stability, cooperation and development in the East Sea is the aspiration and common goal of the countries in the region as well as international community. The respect for international law, including the full and responsible observation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), is of significant importance to achieving that goal.
“Vietnam welcomes all countries’ common stance on the East Sea that the 1982 UNCLOS is a legal framework that governs all activities at sea. We hope that all countries will make an effort to contribute to maintaining peace, stability, cooperation in the East Sea and resolving disputes through dialogue and other peaceful measures in accordance with international law for the sake of common interests and meeting the aspirations of regional countries and the international community. Vietnam always contributes positively and responsibly to this process”.