He called on the international community to heap pressure on China so as to make it cease such unilateral actions which have escalated tensions in the East Sea, while quickly finding solutions for disputes in the waters on the basis of 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 in Vietnam's Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, China sending vessel Haiyang 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 claims as 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 on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), signed between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China in 2002.
They are also detrimental to negotiations over a legally-binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), Grega noted.
He also emphasised 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)./.
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