Question: Please provide update on the situation of the Haiyang Dizhi 8 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, and Viet Nam’s measures to address this situation.
Answer: Viet Nam resolutely objects the continuing serious violations by the Chinese survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 and its escort vessels of Viet Nam’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction in Viet Nam’s maritime zones as established according to relevant provisions of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982). Viet Nam also reiterates its position with regard to the negative effects of the violations by Haiyang Dizhi 8 and its escort vessels on the friendly relations between the two countries, and peace, security and stability in the East Sea (South China Sea) and the region. For these reasons, Viet Nam demands that China immediately cease its serious violations and withdraw all aforementioned vessels from Viet Nam’s maritime zones.
Regarding the recent statement by China concerning Viet Nam’s economic activities in the latter’s maritime zones, Viet Nam affirms its consistent position that all of Viet Nam’s maritime economic activities, including its oil and gas activities, are conducted entirely within Viet Nam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf areas generated from its mainland in accordance with UNCLOS 1982 to which both Viet Nam and China are states parties. UNCLOS 1982 clearly defines the scope of and provides the sole legal basis for maritime entitlements of the coastal states. This is widely respected by states, confirmed in the relevant case law and endorsed by highly qualified international lawyers. It follows that states cannot make maritime claims in the East Sea that exceed the geographical and substantive limits as defined under UNCLOS 1982. Unlawful maritime claims which contravene UNCLOS 1982 cannot constitute a basis for asserting the existence of disputed or overlapping maritime areas. Disruptive activities in relation to Viet Nam’s oil and gas activities within Viet Nam’s maritime zones constitute violations of international law and UNCLOS 1982.
Viet Nam, on this occasion, reaffirms its position regarding its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands.