Highlight Vietnam's sovereignty better: East Sea conference

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Vietnam needs to better promote its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes in local and international media, local researchers said at a conference held Tuesday in Hanoi.

"The media plays an important role in making people aware of Vietnam's sovereignty over the archipelagoes in the East Sea," Nguyen Truong Giang of the foreign ministry's Border Commission told the 2nd national East Sea conference, which aimed to review historical, geopolitical and legal issues relating to the East Sea disputes.

The promotion needs to target Vietnamese and Chinese people as well as the international community, not to mention scholars from all countries, Giang was quoted as saying by the VnExpress news website.

Hoang Viet, a lecturer in international law at the Ho Chi Minh Law University, said the government needs to make plans to carry out studies on the East Sea that will emphasize arguments for Vietnam's sovereignty. China is trying to present its case by doing this, including getting studies published in English from famous universities, he said.

Historian Nguyen Nha agreed.

"We have many important documents, especially royal records, which I believe, if translated and promoted more, will make arguments for our sovereignty stronger, " he said, showing some historical documents.

About 80 Vietnamese researchers in history, geography and law  discussed the implementation of international laws in solving disputes, as well as recent happenings at the East Sea that were getting more attention at international conferences.

They also presented possible scenarios related to the East Sea disputes until 2020 and suggested directions that Vietnamese policies could take.

The first national East Sea conference was held in March, 2009.  Both conferences were organised by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.

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