Viet Nam keeps close watch on developments in East Sea: Spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang
|Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang. (Photo: Nguyen Hong)|
She made the statement while responding to reporters’ questions about China’s sending Y-20 transport aircraft to Vanh Khan (Mischief Reef), Xubi (Subi Reef) and Chu Thap (Fiery Cross Reef) of Viet Nam’s Truong Sa archipelago, during a virtual press conference of the ministry held on September 23.
Hang underlined that this activity of China violates Viet Nam’s sovereignty over Truong Sa archipelago and international law, runs counter to the Viet Nam-China agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of maritime issues, increases militarisation and goes against the Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of parties in the East Sea and efforts by stakeholders in negotiations for a Code of Conduct (COC) in the waters.
“Viet Nam requests that China respect Viet Nam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos, put an end to and will not repeat similar violations, respect international law and common perceptions by the countries’ leaders on maritime issues, and contribute to the development of the Viet Nam-China friendship and comprehensive cooperation in a practical, proactive and responsible manner, thereby maintaining peace, stability and cooperation in the East Sea,” she stated.
Regarding a letter dated from China’s Qing dynasty unveiled by scholar Bill Hayton which noted that Hoang Sa is the sea and has no relevance to China’s sovereignty, the spokesperson reiterated that Viet Nam has full historical evidence and legal foundations to affirm the country’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa, which are in line with international law, and the aforementioned document serves as another proof.
Responding to reporters’ queries about Viet Nam’s reaction as Freedom House places Viet Nam among countries with little internet freedom, Hang said that it is not the first time that the organisation has made the biased and prejudiced assessment based on untrue information on Viet Nam.
She stated that efforts to promote and ensure human rights in Viet Nam have been highly valued by countries and international organisations in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) under the auspices of the Human Rights Council.
“Therefore, the Freedom House’s report has no value and it is not necessary to comment further,” the spokesperson said.