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US sends notes against Chinese maritime claims to UN: Hanoi says 'normal practice'
Linh Pham 23:10, 2020/06/12
Vietnam said nations that uphold and comply with international law should be respected.

Vietnam has said that the international community and the United Nations highly regard nations that comply with and promote the enforcement of international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.

 Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: MOFA

Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) made the statement at a regular press conference on June 11 regarding the US's recent sending of diplomatic notes to the UN to protest China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea.

“The circulation of diplomatic notes to express stance is a normal practice by the UN members,” Thu Hang said in a statement, noting that Vietnam cares for the situation in which many countries show their stance on issues in the South China Sea, which is known as the East Sea in Vietnam.

“Vietnam’s stance on the East Sea, including sovereignty, jurisdiction, and other legal rights at sea, has been made clear, consistent, and reiterated many times,” the spokesperson said, reaffirming that Vietnam has sufficient historical evidence and legal basis to assert its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) islands, as regulated by the UNCLOS 1982.

Earlier this month, the US Mission to the United Nations (UN) sent a circular note to the head of the UN to oppose China’s claims in the South China Sea that Washington calls “unlawful.”

Ambassador Kelly Craft, US permanent representative to the UN, said the US “rejects these maritime claims as inconsistent with international law as reflected in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention.”

The US is the fifth country to protest China’s claims in the South China Sea following Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia. The four Southeast Asian countries sent circular notes to the UN between December 2019 and late May 2020 protesting Beijing's South China Sea claims.

In response to the US's move, Beijing said that the country has no right to raise voices against Chinese activities as Washington is not a party to the UNCLOS 1982.

In reality, China has ratified UNCLOS but it’s this giant country that has been accused of bullying other claimants in the South China Sea.

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