Vietnam attends East Sea workshop in Australia

(VOV) - A Vietnamese representative gave historical evidence asserting Vietnam’s sovereignty over its two groups of East Sea islands, Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel), at a workshop in New South Wales on December 30.

The evidence has been clearly stated in main history, codified documents, geography books, formal documents by central and local governments in the 19th century, and in many Western documents in the 19th century, said historian Nguyen Nha.

He also cited western lawyers’ arguments refuting China’s sovereign claims of the Truong Sa islands and others in the East Sea, and said the claims, part of China’s maritime strategy, are groundless and illegal.

Honorary Professor Carlyle Thayer of New South Wales University also presented legal foundations and practical policies to settle East Sea disputes.

He spoke of the geo-strategic significance of the two groups of East Sea islands, the role of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), as well as ways both ASEAN and China uphold to address the issue.

Questions were raised at the workshop, focusing on measures to settle marine disputes between Vietnam and China, international law’s role, and values of historical evidence collected by Vietnam in supporting the settlement.  

Historian Nguyen Nha suggested diplomacy as the main solution to the current dispute.  

The workshop drew the participation of international experts, and Vietnamese nationals and students in Australia.