The Hanoitimes - “There exists no overlapping entitlement or dispute over the so-called “Wan’an Tan” as China has no basis whatsoever under international law to claim this area."
The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has refuted a Chinese spokesperson’s statement on China’s claim for the so-called “Wan’an Tan”, internationally known as Vanguard Bank, in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continent shelf in the South China Sea, affirming that there is no dispute over that feature.
Spokesperson of the MOFA of Vietnam Le Thi Thu Hang on October 3 stated that the area that China calls “Wan’an Tan” is, in fact, a submerged formation that, as a matter of law, constitutes part of the seabed lying entirely within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf as defined in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Spokesperson of the MOFA of Vietnam Le Thi Thu Hang. Photo: MOFA
“There exists no overlapping entitlement or dispute over the so-called “Wan’an Tan” as China has no basis whatsoever under international law to claim this area. This is well established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and in the recent case law,” Hang asserted.
This is the first time the Vietnamese spokesperson mentioned “the recent case law” in a statement on the South China Sea.
On September 18, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China Geng Shuang said “China has sovereignty over Nansha Islands and sovereign rights and jurisdiction over adjacent waters of Wan'an Tan in the Nansha Islands,” and asked the Vietnamese side “immediately stop its unilateral infringement activities to restore tranquility to the waters concerned.”
Vanguard Bank, which is referred to as Bãi Tư Chính in Vietnam, has been the center of international attention over the past three months since China started to send survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 and its escort vessels near that feature, reviving territorial tension between the two nations.
Vanguard Bank is a coral reef in southern South China Sea, referred to as the East Sea in Vietnam, 160 nautical miles from Vietnam’s Vung Tau coast and over 600 miles away from China’s Hainan island.
The bank is administratively administered by Ba Ria – VungTau province and is not related to the Truong Sa (Spratly) islands. Vietnam started to install several technical rigs, known as DK rigs in Vietnam, in 1989 and now has three rigs of that kind there, according to VnExpress.
Vanguard Bank (circled). Photo: Google Maps