Talking to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in New York, Dr Vu Quang Viet, former head of the National Accounts Division of the UN, said China had clearly taken provocative actions in the sea, and faced opposition from many countries worldwide, especially the US.

A Chinese marine surveillance ship (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Mr. Vu Quang Viet said among the above-mentioned actions were a Chinese marine surveillance ship's sinking of a Vietnamese fishing vessel near the Paracel (Hoang Sa) archipelago, sending Haiyan Dizhi 8 into Vietnam's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), unreasonable sovereignty claims over Vietnam’s Paracel and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos, and the issuance of the so-called “standard names” for 80 entities in the East Sea.

According to him, the US State Department and Department of Defence and American lawmakers have condemned China's actions, saying they are illegal and harm countries in the region. The Philippine Foreign Ministry also expressed its solidarity and support for Vietnam on the issue.

In face of this, the Vietnamese Government has repeatedly sent notes to the UN to oppose China’s claims and sovereignty violations in the East Sea, Viet said.

Meanwhile, Prof Ta Van Tai from Harvard University emphasised that China's recent actions are provocative towards Vietnam's sovereignty in the East Sea and contrary to UNCLOS 1982.

He said that China’s claim of sovereignty over almost the entire East Sea via the so-called “nine-dash line” is groundless, and violates maritime sovereignty of other countries as clearly stated in the convention./.