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Vietnam Today

Vietnam demands China withdraw vessels from territorial waters

Released at: 12:28, 14/09/2019

Vietnam demands China withdraw vessels from territorial waters

A Vietnam Coast Guard ship is on mission around the DK1/15 oil rig. (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam resolutely opposes continued serious violations of its sovereignty and jurisdiction, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on September 12.

by Long Van

Answering reporters’ questions about the return of the Chinese vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 and its escorts to Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf at a press conference in Hanoi on September 12, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said Vietnam resolutely opposes the Chinese vessels’ continued serious violations of its sovereignty and jurisdiction in territorial waters as defined in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

She was quoted by the Vietnam News Agency as saying that Vietnam has also pointed out the adverse impacts of these violations on the friendship between Vietnam and China as well as peace, security and stability in the East Sea and the region.

“For those reasons, Vietnam demands China immediately cease its serious violations and withdraw all vessels from Vietnam’s territorial waters,” Ms. Hang said.

Regarding China’s recent statements on Vietnam’s economic activities in its territorial waters, she affirmed Vietnam’s consistent view that all of its maritime economic activities, including oil and gas exploitation, have been carried out within its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf as defined from the land territory in line with the 1982 UNCLOS to which both Vietnam and China are members.

Ms. Hang emphasized that the 1982 UNCLOS serves as the only legal basis for nations to determine their territorial waters as well as their rights to their territorial waters, which has been observed by countries, recognized by courts, and supported by prestigious international lawyers.

Therefore, no country can make claims on waters in the East Sea that exceed geographical limitations and go beyond the contents of the 1982 UNCLOS, she added.

Illegal claims that are outside of the 1982 UNCLOS cannot be used as the foundation to assert the existence of disputed and overlapping waters.

These acts, which hinder Vietnam’s oil and gas activities in its territorial waters, are in violation of international law and the 1982 UNCLOS, Ms. Hang said.

She also reaffirmed Vietnam’s stance on its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes.

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