Experts affirm Vietnam’s sovereignty over disputed territories
Legal and historical evidence proving Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos were introduced at an international seminar in the central province of Quang Ngai on April 27 and 28.
Participants, including domestic and foreign scholars and researchers from various countries including the US, Russia, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, India, the Republic of Korea and the Philippines, shared the view that Vietnam has established and exercised its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos in a peaceful and continuous manner in line with international law.
China’s use of force to occupy Hoang Sa archipelago in 1974 and several shoals on Truong Sa archipelago in 1988 were an absolute violation of international law, they said.
They also slammed China’s irrational claim over a nine-dash line in the East Sea. According to them, China’s strengthened efforts to claim the line are behind the growing tensions in the East Sea.
Many opinions said China’s establishment of the so-called Sansha city and its development activities in the area are attempts to control the East Sea, threatening peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Sea.
The participants agreed that peace, stability, maritime security, safety and freedom in the East Sea are in the common interests of countries in and outside the region.
According to them, the East Sea coastal nations need to comply with international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), fully and seriously implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and early formulate a Code of Conduct in East Sea (COC). East Sea disputes should be settled by peaceful means in line with international law and the 1982 Unclos, without the use of or threat to use force, they said.
Tran Cong Truc, former head of the Government’s National Boundary Commission, said the fact that Vietnam is the first State in history to occupy and exercise its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa in an actual and continuous manner was highlighted by scholars at the seminar.
On April 28, delegates attended the annual Hoang Sa Soldier Feast and Commemoration Festival in Ly Son island district. The event was held to pay tribute to Hoang Sa Flotilla sailors who laid down their lives for national island sovereignty.