Vietnam Calls for China and Philippines to Show Restraint in the South China Sea

Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Pham Thu Hang expressed concern over increasing tension between China and the Philippines in regard to the South China Sea and the Second Thomas Shoal on March 9th.

Hang said that any activity “must adhere” to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in order to “respect countries’ sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction” established in line with UNCLOS; not complicate the situation or escalate tensions; guarantee the freedom of navigation and overflight; and not threaten to use force.

“We call on the parties concerned to exercise self-restraint, seriously implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea [South China Sea] (DOCPEA), resolve disputes by peaceful means, and together contribute to the maintenance of peace, stability, and cooperation in the East Sea,” Kang added.

On March 6th, the Philippines accused the China Coast Guard (CCG) of firing water cannons and blocking Philippine vessels delivering supply drops to troops on duty stationed at the Second Thomas Shoal.