Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry rebukes China, Philippines over South China Sea

Vietnam on Thursday criticised recent conduct by a Chinese research ship and the Philippine coast guard in the South China Sea, accusing its neighbours of separate actions that were violating its sovereign rights. Asked for comment, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Pham Thu Hang told a press conference those vessels were “violating the sovereign rights and jurisdictions of Vietnam”, which was taking “appropriate measures” to defend its rights. Asked about the Philippines’ move, Hang said: “Vietnam strongly opposes all acts violating Vietnam’s sovereign rights.” (https://news.yahoo.com/vietnam-rebukes-china-philippines-over-094645877.html) Philippine Foreign Ministry spokesperson Teresita Daza said Manila’s coast guard’s installation of buoys was consistent with the country’s rights as a coastal state under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. Tensions are high in contested parts of the South China Sea, one of the world’s most important trade routes and a conduit for more than $3 trillion of annual ship-borne commerce. Chinese and Vietnamese vessels confronted each other in recent days on multiple occasions as a Chinese research ship moved within Hanoi’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which experts said was likely a survey. Such a survey would usually be considered hostile if conducted without notification.

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