Law of the Sea reaffirms Vietnam’s sovereignty over sea and islands

Posted at: MONday - 14/04/2014 12:13 - post name: Nguyễn Thị Thùy

 
Law of the Sea reaffirms Vietnam’s sovereignty over sea and islands

Since the Law of the Sea came to life, it has contributed to reaffirming Vietnam’s Sovereignty over its sea and islands, said Dr. Tran Cong Truc to our reporter at a recent interview:

Below are excerpts of the interview:

Reporter: What does Vietnam’s sovereignty, rights and jurisdiction over its sea, as well as its territorial sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel Archipelagos, as regulated in the Law of the Sea, mean?

Dr. Tran Cong Truc: In the Law of the Sea of Vietnam, the regulation of limits of the sea under Vietnam’s sovereignty, rights and jurisdiction and the reaffirmation Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelagos are the most important issues, which identifies the limits of the internal waters, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zones, and the continental shelf and the legal regulation of these zones.

The Law of the Sea also mentions the settlement of superjacent waters. It clarifies that negotiations should be conducted in accordance with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to reach a fair solution. With such principles, Vietnam has successfully negotiated with several relevant countries. The successful demarcation of the sea area beyond the mouth of the Tonkin Gulf between Vietnam and China is a case in point.

We should take advantage of such way of peaceful negotiations to solve the dispute over the superjacent waters to reach acceptable solutions for both sides. The negotiations must be conducted in accordance with the UNCLOS. Recommendations of any other standards will lead to complicated disputes which may result in serious consequences.

We should all be aware that any disputes over the sea, such as the delimitation of superjacent waters, must comply with the UNCLOS. Other disputes on fishing, exploration and exploitation, and environmental protection should also be settled in accordance with UNCLOS. We can also take them to Arbitral Tribunal or International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea if related parties can not work together to settle the disputes.

Any related parties who do not want to bring the disputes to international arbitral tribunals when they can not be settled through bilateral or multilateral negotiation will make the situation more complicated and create more conflicts. Vietnam’s Law of the Sea reaffirms Vietnam’s good will and determination to peacefully resolve all disputes in the sea.

The Law of the Sea also reaffirms Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Archipelagos. Although the UNLOS does not regulate any mechanism on the settlement of sovereignty disputes, like the UNCLOS, the Law of the Sea mentions the islands, archipelagos, the line from which helps identify the sea area around them. It means that we reject any regulations that are contrary to the Convention and international law in order to legalise ambitious requests over the sovereignty in the East Sea.

In addition to reaffirming Vietnam’s indisputable sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos, the Vietnam’s Law of the Sea insisted on Vietnam’s policy to settle all related disputes through peaceful means in accordance with international laws and practices and to completely possess the two archipelagos.

Vietnam was the first nation in history which has possessed the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Archipelagos. It has constantly and peacefully exercised its sovereignty over the two archipelagos and has been recognised by the international community. We have always been willing to negotiate with related parties. The willingness is mentioned in the Law of the Sea. In fact, we have successfully conducted negotiations with those parties who respected the truth and were eager to negotiate.

The adoption of the Law of the Sea was an important event and it should be disseminated, both domestically and internationally in the interest of the nation, the region, and the world as a whole.

Reporter: Thank you very much!


Translated by Dic

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