Vietnam keeps a close watch on the process of the East Sea-related case filed by the Philippines and reserves the right to use all suitable and necessary peaceful measures to protect its rights and legal interests in the East Sea, the foreign ministry said.
Ministry spokesperson Le Hai Binh made the statement in response to reporters’ queries regarding Vietnam’s reaction to the decision issued by Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on October 29 that it has jurisdiction to hear some territorial claims in the case filed by the Philippines over disputed areas in the East Sea, also known as the South China Sea, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s statement slamming the decision a day later.
“First and foremost, I once again affirm Vietnam’s indisputable sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelagoes,” Binh said.
He said that as a coastal nation in the East Sea and a member of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Vietnam has sovereignty rights and jurisdiction over the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf as designated in accordance with the Convention.
Vietnam has presented its views on the case filed by the Philippines for many times, particularly in the Foreign Ministry’s statement submitted to the PCA on December 5, 2014, Binh said.
The statement said Vietnam backs the observance and full implementation of all regulations and procedures as prescribed in the UNCLOS, including the settlement of all disputes relating to the interpretation and application of the Convention via peaceful measures.
Vietnam, therefore, maintains its rights and legal interests in the East Sea, including sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Archipelago as well as rights and interests in waters designated in accordance with the UNCLOS, he said.
Binh also said Vietnam hopes the court will interpret and apply related stipulations of the Convention in the case to issue a fair and impartial judgment.
“Vietnam asks that the court pays special attention to Vietnam’s rights and legal interests in the East Sea,” he said, adding that the country will consider next steps to protect national rights and interests.