Vietnamese expats send concerns over East Sea issue to EP
On March 15, representatives of Vietnamese expatriates living across Europe sent the European Parliament (EP) an open letter expressing their concerns over Chinese unilateral moves that have provoked escalating tension in the East Sea.
According to Nguyen Van Thoai, head of the association of overseas Vietnamese in Germany, the community hopes the power of international solidarity can put an end to these wrongdoings.
The letter calls for support from European parliamentarians , he said.
China must respect the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Thoai added.
Receiving the letter on behalf of the EP, member Barbara Lochbihler said the East Sea issue is frequently discussed at working sessions between the European Commission and Southeast Asian countries.
She said she hoped for a peaceful solution to defuse the tension.
Recently, China did a test flight to an illegally built airport on Chu Thap (Fiery Cross) reef in Vietnam’s Truong Sa archipelago and deployed HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles on Phu Lam island in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago.
Earlier, in a statement released on March 11, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, stressed that the EU is committed to maintaining legal order on maritime areas based on international law.
She said the union is concerned by China’s recent moves in the East Sea, including testing missiles , which have negatively affected regional security, and sea and air navigation.
At a press conference on February 25, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Hai Binh said, “Vietnam has indisputable sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos”.
Binh said China’s acts, made without regard for objections and concerns raised by Vietnam and the international community, not only seriously violate Vietnam’s sovereignty and accelerate militarisation in the East Sea, but also threaten peace and stability in the region.
“Vietnam strongly opposes actions that seriously infringe on its sovereignty and demands China act responsibly to maintain peace and stability in the region and the world with respect for international laws such as the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC)”, Binh said.