June 13, 2023
HÀ NỘI — Sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction over the seas of a state established in line with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as well as the legitimate rights and interests of the littoral countries, including Việt Nam, must be respected.
So said Phạm Thu Hằng, spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, on Saturday while commenting on a June 6 statement by a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry concerning the operation of the group of Chinese survey ship Xiang Yang Hong 10.
As repeatedly affirmed, Việt Nam has full legal ground and historical evidence to affirm its sovereignty over Trường Sa (Spratlys) and Hoàng Sa (Paracels), she stressed, adding that the legal status of Trường Sa and its entities has been clearly defined in line with the UNCLOS 1982.
This is a manifestation of the responsible and construction spirit and a practical contribution by countries concerned to peace, stability, cooperation and the rule of law in the region, including the East Sea (internationally known as South China Sea), she concluded.
Phạm Thu Hằng, who was Deputy Director of the Press Information Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Spokesperson of the ministry, was appointed Acting Director of the department and spokesperson of the ministry.
The foreign minister’s decision was presented by Deputy Foreign Minister Hà Kim Ngọc on June 8.
Hằng took over the position of the spokesperson from Lê Thị Thu Hằng, who was promoted to Deputy Foreign Minister in December 2022.
She has served in different positions at the Press Information Department for many years. From 2017 to 2020, she acted as Political Counsellor at the Vietnamese Embassy in the US.
Hằng is the fifth spokeswoman of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her four female predecessors are Hồ Thể Lan, Phan Thúy Thanh, Nguyễn Phương Nga (now President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations), and Lê Thị Thu Hằng (now Deputy Foreign Minister). — VNS