May 19, 2023
HANOI— Vietnamese authorities are taking appropriate measures to ensure the legitimate rights and interests of Việt Nam in the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea).
Deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Phạm Thu Hằng made the remarks on Thursday during the press briefing in Hà Nội, in response to questions over Việt Nam’s reaction to reports of activities of a Chinese survey vessel operating within Việt Nam’s waters in recent days.
“Việt Nam holds sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction towards the waters in the South China Sea in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” Hằng said.
For incidents that infringe upon the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of Việt Nam over these waters, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vietnamese authorities are implementing “appropriate measures in accordance with international and Vietnamese law to ensure the lawful and legitimate rights and interests of Việt Nam.”
On a related issue, with regards to the recent opening of a Hong Kong restaurant in Phú Lâm (Woody) Island of Việt Nam’s Hoàng Sa (Paracel) archipelago by the Chinese authorities, Hằng said Việt Nam has full legal basis and historical evidence to assert its sovereignty over the Paracel Islands accordance with international law.
“We strongly oppose any action that violates Việt Nam’s sovereignty and sovereign rights over these islands,” the foreign ministry’s representative stressed.
On Philippine Coast Guard’s installation of navigational buoys to assert sovereignty over Spratly Islands, the deputy spokesperson said that “As reiterated on numerous occasions, Việt Nam has sufficient historical ground and legal basis to assert its sovereignty over Trường Sa (Spratly) Islands in accordance with international law.”
Việt Nam objects to all actions that breach the country’s sovereignty and sovereign rights over the archipelago, Hằng said.
Việt Nam asks all relevant parties respect Việt Nam’s sovereignty, international law, the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and to make meaningful and active contributions to the maintenance of peace and stability in the South China Sea, as well as create favourable conditions for the negotiations of the Code of Conduct (COC). — VNS