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All countries have common obligation, interest in respecting int’l law: spokeswoman

 Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang highlighted Vietnam’s viewpoint that all countries have the common obligation and interest in respecting fundamental principles of international law while addressing the ministry’s press conference on July 16.

With regard to several recent remarks on Twitter by her Chinese counterpart Hua Chunying, Hang reiterated that Vietnam has sufficient legal ground and historical evidence testifying to its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes in line with international law.

Responding to a question about the recent statement by US State Secretary Mike Pompeo and the US’s stance on maritime claims in the East Sea, the spokeswoman said peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the East Sea are the common aspirations and goals of countries bordering the East Sea as well as of those in the region and the international community.

Upholding international law, respecting legal order at sea, and fully and responsibly implementing the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) are critical to realising those goals, she went on.

Hang noted Vietnam welcomes countries’ stances on the East Sea issue that are in conformity with international law and shares the viewpoint that the 1982 UNCLOS is the legal framework regulating all activities in seas and oceans.

“We also hope that countries will join us in exerting utmost efforts to contribute to the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation in the East Sea and to the settlement of disputes via dialogue and other peaceful measures in accordance with international law for common interest and in line with aspirations of countries in the region and the international community,” she said, adding that Vietnam always makes active and responsible contributions to common efforts and throughout this process.

The spokeswoman also reaffirmed that maintaining an East Sea region of stability, peace, cooperation, and development is not only the common aspiration but also the common responsibility of countries bordering the East Sea, regional countries, and the international community.

To do that, it is necessary for countries in the region and the international community to make joint efforts on the basis of international law and fully and responsibly implement fundamental principles of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS. And Vietnam has been actively and responsibly contributing to common efforts towards this goal, Hang said.