COUNTRIES’ VIEWPOINTS ON EAST SEA

President asserts Vietnam’s rights and interests in East Sea

TTXVN-VNA | 30-12-2016 | 19:06

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s rights and interests in the East Sea are recognised and protected by international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), President Tran Dai Quang has told the press on the threshold of the New Year 2017.

 

He said the country must resolutely and persistently fight to firmly defend national independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity, as well as to maintain a peaceful and stable environment for national development, and deal with disputes via peaceful means on the basis of respect for international law.

 

The building and safeguarding of the country in the new situation require the entire nation and political system, with the people’s armed force playing the core role, to prepare well in all aspects, keep high combat readiness and avoid falling into the passive or being taken by surprise in all situations, he said.

 

He stressed that strengthening the implementation of national defence-security tasks along with building comprehensively strong people’s armed forces is a critical factor to carry out effectively socio-economic development targets, international integration, and firm protection of national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

 

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was adopted in 1982 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, marking an enormous success of the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea.

 

This Convention now became the primary instrument governing the conduct of States in their uses of the ocean.

 

Since its entry into force on 16 November 1994, the UNCLOS has become an important legal basis for regulating maritime issues as well as an important legal instrument for settling and dealing with sea-related disputes. That is why the UNCLOS is considered as “A Constitution for the Oceans”.

 

As a country with 3,260km of coastline, Vietnam’s interest in the sea is significant. Aware of the significance of the sea, Vietnam has actively participated in the process of UNCLOS negotiations and made considerable efforts in implementing the Convention. It always upholds the purposes and objectives of the UNCLOS.

Since the adoption of the UNCLOS, Vietnam has actively applied relevant provisions of general international law as well as international law of the sea to develop its legislative and regulatory acts relating to the sea. In conformity with the progressive trend of international maritime law, Vietnam has promulgated “Declaration on the Territorial Sea, Contiguous Zone, Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf” in 1977 establishing the Exclusive Economic Zone of 200 nautical miles, extending the rights of Vietnam to the sea, not just confined to the right to fishing rights, but also other sovereign rights and jurisdiction. With this Declaration, Vietnam together with Kenya, Myanmar, Cuba, Yemen, Dominique, Guatemala, India, Pakistan, Mexico and Seychelles were the pioneering states in developing the concept of Exclusive Economic Zone, thus contributing to the development and consolidation of the practice of States, which later on became an important institution of the UNCLOS.

The Ratification Resolution of Vietnam reaffirmed the sovereignty of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam over its internal waters, territorial sea, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the Contiguous Zone, Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf based on the provisions of the UNCLOS and principles of international law, and called on other countries to respect the above-mentioned rights of Vietnam.

 

The Resolution also reaffirmed the policy of Vietnam to settle disputes over territorial sovereignty and other disagreements related to the East Sea (South China Sea) through peaceful negotiations in the spirit of equality, mutual understanding and respect, with due respect for international law, particularly the UNCLOS and respect for sovereign rights and jurisdiction of coastal states over its Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf in accordance with the principles of the UNCLOS./.