Following China’s announcement of establishing the so-called “Xisha district” (Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago) and “Nansha district” (Vietnam’s Truong Sa archipelago), international experts have condemned the move, saying it breaks international law.
Expert Grigory Loksin
The Economic Times of India said on April 21 that China’s actions ignore claims by other concerned parties in the region and are a violation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as well as international standards and law.
The article stressed that every country must respect international law and maritime and aviation freedom in the East Sea.
On the same day, Channel News Asia quoted expert Bill Hayton from the British think-tank Chatham House as saying that China has ratified the 1982 UNCLOS, which is quite clear on what States can and cannot claim as territory. Yet China seems to be going against UNCLOS by asserting sovereignty in far-away places.
Meanwhile, Asia Times said Beijing has gone too far.
Grigory Loksin from the Centre for Vietnam and ASEAN Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Far Eastern Studies said that China’s actions violate the UN Charter and UNCLOS, leading to a more complex and tense situation regionally.
Vietnamese leaders, he went on, have carried out a responsible and reasonable policy amid the current situation. The country is doing everything it can to protect its sovereignty and legal interests in the East Sea, while simultaneously making every effort to maintain peace and stability throughout the region.
In his opinion, as ASEAN Chair in 2020, Vietnam is taking measures to unite the ASEAN Community and offer common views to stand against China’s violation of international law.
“Vietnam, in its role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, is doing everything possible to clarify its position and win the support of the international community,” he said. “The country is keen to pursue an open and multilateral policy, which has contributed to raising Vietnam’s reputation in the international arena.”
On April 19, the spokesperson of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Le Thi Thu Hang said Vietnam has affirmed many times that it has sufficient historical evidence and legal foundation to assert its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos.
She reiterated Vietnam’s strong opposition to the establishment of the so-called “Sansha city” and related acts, as they seriously violate Vietnam’s sovereignty, are invalid, are unrecognized, are not favourable for friendship among nations, and further complicate the situation in the East Sea, the region, and the world.
“Vietnam demands that China respect its sovereignty, reverse its wrongful decisions, and not commit similar acts in the future,” she said./.VNA
The people’s committee of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands district in Danang strongly protested China’s decision to establish the so-called Xisha and Nansha districts to govern over Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) islands.
China’s announcement of establishing the so-called “Xisha district” (Vietnam’s Hoang Sa -Paracel - archipelago) and “Nansha district” (Vietnam’s Truong Sa - Spratly - archipelago) within the new “Sansha city” will escalate tensions in the region.