The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague on October 29 decided to expand its jurisdiction to the East Sea to consider the case of a territorial dispute between the Philippines and China.
China has refused to take part in hearings in the court and said it does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Liu Zhenmin said on October 30.
In response to reporters’ question over Vietnam’s reaction to this matter, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Hai Binh reiterated Vietnam’s indisputable sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.
“First and foremost, I once again affirm Vietnam’s indisputable sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelagoes,” Binh said, noting that as a littoral nation in the East Sea and a member of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Vietnam has sovereignty rights and jurisdiction over the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf as designated in accordance with the Convention.
In its submission to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PAC) on December 5th, 2014, Vietnam said it will closely follow the case and reserve the right to use every appropriate and necessary peaceful mean to protect its rights and legal interests in the East Sea.
Binh said Vietnam respects the implementation of the UNCLOS and hopes the court will apply the Convention’s regulations in making any jurisdictions.
The Vietnamese diplomat said the country asked the court to assert its jurisdiction, give “due regard” to Vietnam’s rights and interests in the East Sea, adding that Vietnam will consider future actions to protect its national interests.