Vietnam hosts international seminar on China’s illegal construction in East Sea

July 25, 2015 4:25 pm

’s illegal construction in the East Sea and its
possible impacts on regional peace, security, economy and trade are in
the agenda of an international workshop slated for today, July 25, in Ho
Chi Minh City.

The event, joint organized by the city’s Law University and the Vietnam
Lawyer Association, will draw more than 20 law experts and scholars at
home and abroad, Professor Mai Hong Quy, rector of the university, said
at a press briefing on Friday.

 A U.S. Navy crewman aboard a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft views a
computer screen purportedly showing Chinese construction on the
reclaimed land of Fiery Cross Reef in the Truong Sa (Spratly)
archipelago in the East Vietnam Sea in this still image from video
provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015.

The seminar is regarded as a scientific forum for participants to
analyze, discuss and comment on all illegal construction activities by
China in the East Vietnam Sea and their impacts on various fields,
including peace, security, and maritime safety and security, in the
region as well as the world, Prof. Quy said.

Since 2014, China has carried out land reclamation work and built
artificial islands atop seven reefs belonging to Vietnam’s Truong Sa
(Spratly), with a view to illegally claim its exclusive sovereignty in
the East Vietnam Sea, the professor said.

As seen from the angle of international law, China’s construction of
artificial islets in the waters completely runs counter to the 1982
UNCLOS and political commitments between China and ASEAN and Vietnam,
especially the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea
(DOC), the event’s organizing board said.

Such actions have seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over Truong
Sa and threatened peace, security, economy, trade, and maritime and
aviation freedom and aviation in the region and the world, the board
said.

The seminar will clarify the serious impacts the artificial islands
recently built by China may have on the environment in the East Vietnam
Sea, on economic and trading activities in the sea area, and on maritime
and aviation freedom in the South East , Prof. Quy said.

“These issues are very important to the region and the world,” he added. 

Among the speakers at the event are Professor of International Law Erik
Franckx from Vrije Universiteit Brussels, member of the Permanent Court
of Arbitration in The Hague.

In an interview with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper ahead of the
seminar, Prof. Franckx said that China’s recent actions on the East
Vietnam Sea reflects a clear phenomenon in which a power in the region
bullies a smaller neighboring country.

The issue here is that China should have complied with regulations of
the UNCLOS as it is a party to this international law, the professor
said. 

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