No country has the right to arrogantly and callously ask Việt Nam to stop exploring oil and gas fields in waters where Việt Nam holds sovereignty and sovereign rights, says the Vietnam News Agency.
The Tư Chính reef (internationally known as Vanguard Bank) is located in Việt Nam’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone and completely belongs to the country, defined in line with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).
According to the 1982 UNCLOS’s Article 56, in their exclusive economic zones, states enjoy sovereign rights over the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters overlying the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil, and other activities like energy production from water, currents or winds.
Therefore, all activities by foreign countries in Việt Nam’s waters must be conducted in line with regulations of the 1982 UNCLOS and Vietnamese law. Actions not allowed by Việt Nam are violations of the country’s waters, international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.