President of the Belgium-Vietnam Friendship Association Pierre Grega has voiced the association's support for Vietnam as China has increasingly undertaken unilateral actions in the East Sea.
He called on the international community to increase pressure on China to cease such unilateral actions, which are escalating tensions in the East Sea, while quickly identifying solutions for maritime disputes in line with international law.
Grega made note of a series of Chinese actions that have complicated the situation in the East Sea: a Chinese coast guard ship sinking a Vietnamese fishing boat near Vietnam's Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, China sending vessel Haiyan Dizhi 8 into the exclusive economic zones of Vietnam and Malaysia, and China declaring the establishment of “Xisha district” (Vietnam's Hoang Sa archipelago) and “Nansha district” (Vietnam's Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago) which it states are part of the so-called “Sansha city”.
These unilateral actions, he stressed, run counter to the fundamental principles that guide the settlement of maritime issues as well as the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), signed between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China in 2002.
They are harmful to negotiations over a legally-binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), Grega noted.
He also emphasized that Vietnamese fishermen need to conduct safe fishing activities within their country’s territorial waters and that Vietnam wants to resolve tensions via international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)./.VNA