Sunday, 20 Oct 2019
Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang from Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: MOFA
“Vietnam strongly denounced the continuing serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction by China’s Haiyang Dizhi 8 and escorts in Vietnamese waters which is defined in the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” said Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang from Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Chinese vessels’ violations will harm the bilateral relations between Vietnam and China as well as peace, security, and stability in the East Sea (the South China Sea)” Spokeswoman Hang said at a press conference on September 12.
The spokeswoman firmly asserts Vietnamese sovereignty and jurisdiction and its economic activities, including oil operations in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and areas totally within its waters stipulated in UNCLOS in which both Vietnam and China are members.
She said that “UNCLOS is the unique legal basis to define each country’s sovereignty and jurisdiction at sea and member states have closely abided by the international law and acknowledged by and international tribunals and lawyers.”
Therefore, “no country can claim its rights to waters in the East Sea which go against the UNCLOS 1982 in terms of geographical boundaries and content,” Hang said, adding that “illegal claims about disputed waters or overlapping areas which are against the UNCLOS 1982 are groundless.”
“Vietnam once affirms its sovereignty on Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands,” the spokeswoman emphasized.
Chinese Haiyang Dizhi 8 first intruded into Vietnamese waters in early July until August 7. It reentered the waters on August 13. In a latest move, Lanjing, the world-largest crane vessel owned by China National Offshore Oil Corporation, has sailed through Vietnam’s EEZ.