The spokeswoman made the statement at the ministry’s regular press conference in Hanoi on March 14 in response to reporters’ question regarding China's recent declaration of the straight baselines in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Foreign Ministry’s Spokeswoman Pham Thu Hang

Hang noted that Vietnam and China are the two countries bordering the Gulf of Tonkin. On December 25, 2000, they signed the Vietnam - China Agreement on the delimitation of the territorial sea, exclusive economic zones and continental shelf, also known as the Vietnam - China Boundary Delimitation Agreement in the Gulf of Tonkin, which took effect on June 30, 2004. This agreement delineates the maritime boundaries, exclusive economic zones, and continental shelves of each country within the Gulf.

Vietnam holds that coastal states must comply with the UNCLOS 1982 when determining the baseline used to measure the breadth of the territorial sea, ensuring that such actions do not affect the legitimate rights and interests of other countries, including the right to navigation freedom, the right to transit passage through straits used for international navigation, as guaranteed by the UNCLOS 1982, Hang said.

Vietnam has and will continue exchanging viewpoints with China regarding this issue in the spirit of friendship, mutual understanding and respect, she said, adding that Vietnam reserves its legal rights and interests under international law as well as the view expressed in the Vietnamese Government’s Declaration on June 6, 1996 concerning the Chinese Government’s Declaration on May 15, 1996 on the baseline used to measure the breadth of the territorial sea of China.

Hang stressed that like all other relationships, the differences in the relationship between countries, in this case Vietnam and China, should always be discussed by the two involved countries.

Source: VNA