Vietnam calls for responsibility in East Sea

By on February 26, 2016


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HANOI—Vietnam calls on relevant sides to take responsible and constructive actions in maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea, said Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Le Hai Binh.

The spokesperson made the appeal yesterday in reply to reporters’ queries on Vietnam’s response to China’s deployment of warplanes to Phu Lam (Woody) Island in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago and its construction of a high frequency radar facility on several features in Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, as well as news released by US media that the country may base mobile artillery weapons in the East Sea.

At the ministry’s regular press conference, Binh noted Vietnam’s hope that the parties will respect the UN Charter and international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.

“Vietnam has indisputable sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes,” the Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson said.

The spokesman said that China’s acts, despite the objections and concerns raised by Vietnam and the international community, not only seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty and accelerated militarization in the East Sea, but also threatened peace and stability in the region as well as maritime and aviation security, safety and freedom of the sea.

“Vietnam strongly opposes to the actions that seriously infringed its sovereignty and demands China have responsible and constructive words and deeds in maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world and respect international law,” he said.

Maintaining peace, stability, maritime and aviation security, and freedom of the sea is in the shared interest of all countries, both in and outside of the region, Binh noted.

Asked what Vietnam’s viewpoint would be if it is suggested the country should join a patrol with the US and its allies, the diplomat said Vietnam has conducted normal activities in the region in line with the country’s and international law, particularly UNCLOS.

The activities, which are performed by the relevant Vietnamese agencies, have always contributed to peace and stability in the region and the world at large.

Vietnam has repeatedly voiced its viewpoint of respecting innocent passage through the country’s territorial waters in tune with relevant rules stated in international law, especially UNCLOS, he said.

Vietnam suggested that countries make constructive and pragmatic contributions to peace and stability in the East Sea, and respect international law.

The country’s foreign policy of independence and self-reliance has contributed to keeping peace and stability in the region, and received high appraisals from countries in and outside the region, he said.

Regarding ongoing tensions in the East Sea, the spokesman said the recent developments in the region, especially in the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos, show that the region’s status quo is being broken, and the greatest concern is the militarization of the East Sea.

According to Binh, the heightened tensions would harm peace, stability, maritime and aviation security, and safety in the region.