MANILA, Philippines – Vietnam submitted its position on the Philippines’ historic arbitration case against China, the first time another South China Sea claimant formally used legal proceedings to challenge China’s expansive sea claims.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the announcement on Thursday, December 11, in response to questions on its stand about China’s position paper rejecting the arbitration case.
“To protect its legal rights and interests in the East Sea (Vietnam’s name for the South China Sea) which may be affected in the South China Sea Arbitration case, Vietnam has expressed its position to the Tribunal regarding this case, and requested the Tribunal to pay due attention to the legal rights and interests of Vietnam,” the ministry’s spokesperson Le Hai Binh said.
Like the Philippines, Vietnam is also questioning China’s controversial 9-dash line, which Beijing cites to justify its claim over practically the entire sea. The 9-dash line is the main claim in the Philippine arbitration case, where Manila argues that it is inconsistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Last week, the US also released a study questioning the legal basis of the line.
Yet Vietnam asserted its claims over the Spratly Islands, which the Philippines is also contesting.