East Sea tensions debated at ASEAN meetings
15:14 | 09/06/2014

VGP - Senior officials from ASEAN member states and dialogue partners have expressed their deep concern about increased tensions in the East Sea following China’s positioning of its oil rig inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.

Gathering in Yagon, Myanmar, from June 7-9 for Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOMs), they said parties concerned need to fully observe international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the East Sea, and soon work on a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea. 

Addressing the meetings, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh briefed delegates on the latest developments in the East Sea, stressing that China’s illegal oil rig placement seriously violates international law and the 1982 UNCLOS, and directly impacts peace, stability, security and maritime safety in the East Sea. 

Viet Nam resolutely protests China’s provocative acts including ramming and firing water cannons at Vietnamese ships, and demands China to immediately withdraw its rig and escort ships from Viet Nam’s waters, Vinh said. 

He confirmed that Viet Nam attaches importance to the friendship and cooperation with China, but it resolves to protect its sacred sovereignty and seas by peaceful measures in line with international law.

He called on regional countries and the international community to continue voicing their protest against China’s violations and asking it to respect international law and the UNCLOS, as well as to strictly realize the DOC and work toward a COC as soon as possible. 

Regarding ASEAN cooperation, Deputy FM Vinh stressed the need to enhance unity and bring into full play the central role of the grouping in addressing issues related to peace, stability and development cooperation in the region.

He spoke highly of ASEAN’s central role in promoting regional linkage and connectivity as well as in the evolving regional architecture towards the common goal of peace and prosperity in the region. 

The Vietnamese representative shared the overall assessment about the outcomes of the cooperation between ASEAN and its partners (Japan, China and the Republic of Korea), particularly in promoting regional linkage, responding to natural disaster, climate change, food and energy security and maritime security and safety. 

He took the occasion to announce that Viet Nam will host the ASEAN Marine Forum (AMF) and the Extended ASEAN Marine Forum (EAMF) in late August. 

Mr. Vinh also underlined the need to further enhance the East Asia Summit’s role as an important part of the regional structure with ASEAN forming the core, so that it continues to contribute to peace, stability and development in the region./VOV./.

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