PM Dung made the affirmation while replying questions raised by some delegates at the 12th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on May 31.
In regard to question from Christian Le Mière, Research Fellow for Naval Forces and Maritime Security from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) about Vietnam’s stance on the Philippines’ taking legal proceedings against China to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), Dung said as a coastal nation, Vietnam affirms resolve to protect its sovereignty and legitimate interests in the East Sea on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
This issue was stated by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Luong Thanh Nghi on June 24, 2103.
The FM spokesperson said Vietnam will adopt every suitable and necessary peaceful measure to defend sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction as well as its legal and legitimate national interests in the East Sea in accordance with the UN Charter, international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).
He made the statement while answering reporters’ questions on Vietnam’s response to the President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS)’s appointment of arbitrators to the Ad hoc Arbitration Tribunal that was established pursuant to Annex VII of the 1982 UNCLOS.
Nghi stressed that Vietnam learnt that on January 22, the Filipino Foreign Ministry sent to the Chinese Embassy a diplomatic note attached with a notice and declaration on the Philippines’ proceedings against China to the Ad hoc Arbitration Tribunal set up under Annex VII of the 1982 UNCLOS, and on April 24, the ITLOS President completed the appointment of arbitrators to the tribunal.
“As a coastal country with its legal and legitimate national rights and interests in the East Sea, Vietnam takes an interest in and keep a close watch on the process of the lawsuit”, he said.
Vietnam has sufficient legal and historical evidence and management realities affirming sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction over its waters in accordance with the 1982 UNCLOS, international treaties to which Vietnam is a member, and the country’s legal documents.
“Vietnam once again affirms its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos, as well as sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction over its internal and territorial waters, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in the East Sea”, Nghi stressed.
Vietnam suggests concerned parties seriously and fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed between ASEAN member nations and China in 2002, and the Joint Declaration of the 15 th ASEAN-China Summit on the occasion of the 10 th anniversary of the DOC, he said.
The spokesperson added that Vietnam hopes ASEAN member states and China will promptly conduct official negotiations to formulate a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
All should join hands to build strategic trust for peace, cooperation, development and prosperity.