Roundtable talk on East Sea held in India

 A roundtable talk on the East Sea issue took place in New Delhi, India on July 15, drawing scholars, experts and representatives of diplomatic corps.

In his opening speech at the event, A.B. Mahapatra, Director of the Centre for Asian Strategic Studies - India (CASS - India) – the talk’s organiser, briefed participants on recent developments in the East Sea and tensions concerning China’s militarisation activities in the area.

He called on regional countries, including China, to abide by the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague on July 12 on the case the Philippines brought against China’s claims in the East Sea.

Most participants said the PCA’s ruling is of historic significance when invalidating China’s claims in the East Sea.

Several scholars said the PCA’s ruling should be respected and strictly complied with by parties concerned because it respects the law-abiding principle in seas and oceans and resolves future maritime disputes based on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Philippine Ambassador to India Maria Teressita C. Daza stressed that her country adheres to the ruling. She called on involved parties to respect verdict, and seek peaceful solutions to the issue in line with international law.

Vietnamese Ambassador to India Ton Sinh Thanh said Vietnam welcomes the PCA’s ruling and strongly supports the settlement of disputes in the East Sea via peaceful measures, including diplomatic and legal processes, in line with international law in order to maintain regional peace, stability, security, and navigation and overflight safety and freedom in the East Sea.

He reiterated Vietnam has sufficient legal grounds and historical evidence affirming the country’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos. The country has sovereignty rights and jurisdiction rights within its exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf as stipulated in the 1982 UNCLOS, he added.

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