In response to reporters' queries regarding the recent clashes between Chinese and Philippine vessels near the Bai Co May (Second Thomas Shoal), Thang underscored that Vietnam has already spoken about this issue and is very concerned about recent tensions in the waters.

Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Duc Thang

Vietnam urges all parties involved to exercise utmost restraint, seriously implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), resolve disputes through peaceful means, and contribute to maintaining peace, stability, and cooperation in the East Sea, he affirmed.

The diplomat highlighted that all activities and claims in the waters must comply with international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982. He went on underscoring the importance of respecting countries’ sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in accordance with UNCLOS 1982, refraining from actions that escalate tensions and ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight without the use or threat of force.

Addressing questions regarding activities of China and the Philippines in the Sandy Cay area, the deputy spokesperson reiterated that Vietnam has sufficient legal basis and historical evidence testifying to its sovereignty over the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands in line with international law and also its sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over maritime zones that are established in accordance with the UNCLOS 1982.

The act of allowing individuals onto entities belonging to Vietnam's sovereignty without the country’s permission constitutes a violation of Vietnam's sovereignty, further complicating the situation and running contrary to the DOC and current efforts of nations in negotiating a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Vietnam demands that all parties respect its sovereignty over the Truong Sa, refrain from actions that complicate the situation, abide by international law, earnestly implement the DOC, and contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the waters, the deputy spokesperson said.

He stressed that Vietnam reaffirmed commitment to work with parties involved in resolving disputes over territorial sovereignty in the East Sea, including the Truong Sa, through peaceful means.

Source: VNA