East Sea issue draws French scholars’ attention

Recent tensions in the East Sea, disputes over sea and island sovereignty, and the employment of international law were discussed at a recent seminar in Lorient, in France’s Bretagne region.

French scholars and experts, and representatives from French ministries scrutinised the issues from historical, economical, geo-political and geo-strategic angles. 

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Minister Counselor Nguyen Thi Bich Hue underlined the importance of the East Sea, describing the area as dynamic with many dialogue channels and partners, but also escalating tensions. 

The diplomat used the occasion to affirm Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes. 

She reiterated the country’s peaceful policies, respect for international law and its efforts to settle disputes in the East Sea through peaceful dialogues and negotiations, ensuring the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). 

The diplomat called on French researchers and scholars with in-depth knowledge of the region (because France managed the two archipelagoes during wartime) to share their views at the seminar. 

Reports presented at the event briefly introduced the East Sea’s geo-strategic importance and maritime economic potential, as well as the economic, security and national defence policies of France and other countries in the region. 

The experts said the East Sea dispute threatened the peace, stability and development of many countries in the region and the world at large. 

They suggested Southeast Asian nations not let the issue diminish maritime safety and freedom in the area. Security, peace and stability were crucial for regional countries’ construction and development. 

The seminar on October 16 was held by the University of Bretagne-Sud, the Western Historical Research Centre and the Carrefour des Humanites Association.
VNA