Remarks by the Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of VietNam Ngô Toàn Thắng to the note verbale that China circulated at the United Nations on 17 April and to the new statements made by the Chinese spokesperson Geng Shuang at the Press Conferences on April 20 and 21
(MOFA) - On 23 April 2020, in response to reporters’ queries about Viet Nam’s reaction to the note verbale that China circulated at the United Nations on 17 April and to the new statements made by the Chinese spokesperson GengShuang at the Press Conferences on April 20 and 21, Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ngo ToanThang stated:
As stated in the Press Conference on 9 April 2020, Viet Nam’s circulation of notes verbales at the United Nations (UN) is a normal practice to express its position and protect its lawful and legitimate rights and interests. In response to a number of notes verbales that China circulated at the UN to assert its unlawful sovereignty claims over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands and the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands that are not in line with international law, as well as its maritime claims in the East Sea (South China Sea) that are not in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), on 30 March 2020, Viet Nam circulated a note verbale at the UN to reject these claims, as we did in various documents previously submitted to the UN and relevant international bodies. Viet Nam has also made representation with China to strongly reaffirm its consistent position and reject China’s unlawful position.
On 10 April 2020, Viet Nam circulated two other notes verbales to reaffirm its position on the East Sea issues in response to those of other states concerned.
As firmly stated on various occasions, Viet Nam has ample historical evidence and legal basis to affirm its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa Islands and the Truong Sa Islands in accordance with international law. As a coastal state, Viet Nam is entitled to all maritime zones in the East Sea established on the basis of UNCLOS; all maritime claims that are not in accordance with UNCLOS and violate Viet Nam’s sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over Viet Nam’s maritime zones are invalid.
Viet Nam is of the view that all states have the obligation and share the common interests to respect the fundamental principles of international law, including sovereign equality of all states, non-use or threat of force in international relations against the territorial integrity of other states, promotion of friendly relations, and peaceful resolution of disputes. In this spirit, Viet Nam stands ready to resolve disputes with other relevant states through negotiation or other peaceful means, including those provided for in UNCLOS.