East Sea issue: Trust should not be eroded

(VOVWORLD) - The 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings ended in Bangkok last week with the East Sea being a hot topic among other regional issues. Attending the event, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh frankly and openly shared Vietnam’s stance on the East Sea issue which received strong support from other countries.
East Sea issue: Trust should not be eroded - ảnh 1

The East Sea has frequently been high on the agenda of ASEAN’s meetings.The 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting took place as Chinese geological survey vessel group Haiyang Dizhi 8 and escorted vehicles were conducting activities in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, violating Vietnam’s sovereignty and sovereignty rights.

China faces international backlash

China’s geological survey vessel group Haiyang Dizhi 8’s brazen violations are facing international condemnation. Vietnam has the rights to take all resolute and persistent measures to defend its sovereignty in a peaceful way. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh told AMM-52 and related meetings in Bangkok that China’s serious violations are eroding trust in the region, escalating tensions in the region and affecting peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea. China’s action has infringed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and run counter to commitments to creating a favorable environment for negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the East Sea. Vietnam asks ASEAN to maintain unity and a common voice, reiterate the principles on and commitments to peace and stability, and call for restraint from unilateral actions that undermine dialogue and cooperation in the region, and obstruct legal economic activities of coastal states and efforts to build an effective, practical COC.

Vietnam’s resolve to defend its sovereignty in a constructive spirit received strong support from countries in and outside the region. In the AMM-52 Joint Communique, ASEAN Foreign Ministers for the first time called on involved parties to avoid reclamation or serious incidents that escalate tensions in the East Sea. Land reclamations, activities and serious incidents in the East Sea have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region, according to the communique. ASEAN Foreign Ministers reaffirmed the importance of upholding international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They reiterated the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation, and pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS. The communique the importance of non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of activities by all parties.The Ministers underlined the importance of the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety and the need to maintain and promote an environment conducive to the COC negotiations.

Non-ASEAN countries including the US, Australia and Japan also released statements condemning China’s violations of Vietnam’s sovereignty, saying Beijing’s aggression in the East Sea is disturbing evidence of a country which ignores international law and diplomacy. In a statement, the US Department of State said China’s actions threatened regional energy security.

International law needs to be upheld, respected

ASEAN’s unity and consensus in dealing with tensions in the East Sea are built upon international law and the responsibility for peace, stability, and security in the region and the world. ASEAN pursues the stance of settling disputes in the East Sea by peaceful means, not using force, with respect for freedom of aviation and overflight and international law, particularly UNCLOS.