(MOFA) - On 25 March 2021, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' press conference, with regard to the question on Viet Nam's response to the activities of numerous Chinese vessels in Ba Dau (Whitsun) reef within Viet Nam's Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands, the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang stated that:
Viet Nam has ample legal basis and historical evidence to assert its sovereignty over the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands in accordance with international law. As a coastal state and a state party to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Viet Nam enjoys sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its maritime zones as established in accordance with the UNCLOS.
The activities of the Chinese vessels within the territorial sea around of Sinh Ton Dong (Grierson) in Viet Nam's Truong Sa Islands violate Viet Nam's sovereignty and the provisions of UNCLOS regulating the operation of foreign vessels within the territorial sea of the coastal states, go against the spirit and content of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), complicate the situation, and are not conducive to the negotiation on the Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (COC).
Viet Nam demands that China cease its violations; respect Viet Nam's sovereignty; implement in good faith the UNCLOS; strictly comply with the DOC, particularly the obligation to exercise self-restraint in order not to complicate the situation; create an environment conducive to the COC negotiation; contribute to maintaining peace, security, stability and the maritime rules-based order in the region./.