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|Fishing vessels operating in East Sea (Source: VNA)|
Hanoi - Australia will continue to strongly advocate the freedom of navigation through the South China Sea (called the East Sea in Vietnam), Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on July 16.
“Australia will continue to adopt a very consistent position,” Morrison told a media briefing in Canberra when asked about Australia’s stance on US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo’s latest statement on the South China Sea issue.
On July 13, Pompeo affirmed that “the United States champions a free and open Indo-Pacific”, and the China’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful.
Regarding Pompeo’s statement, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang said on July 15 that Vietnam welcomes other countries’ stance on the East Sea issue in line with international law.
Peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the sea are the aspiration and goal of countries in the East Sea and the region as well as the international community, she said, adding that the respect of maritime legal order and the full and responsible implementation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS) are significant in realising these goals.
Vietnam hopes that countries will make efforts to contribute to maintaining peace, stability, and cooperation in the East Sea and settle disputes through dialogues and other peaceful measures in accordance with international law, for the common interests and in line with the aspiration of regional nations and the international community. Vietnam always actively and responsibly contributes to the process, stated Hang.