In her speech at the 8th Delhi Dialogue in New Delhi on February 19, Swaraj stressed the important role played by maritime routes in Southeast Asia for India’s economy, affirming that oceans and seas, including the East Sea, are "pathways" to prosperity.
Development of a blue economy and optimum utilisation of marine resources can only take place within the ambit of internationally recognised rules and norms, she noted.
She said that India supports the evolution of an inclusive, balanced, transparent and open regional architecture for security and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific.
In a remark at the event the same day, Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said it was important to ensure full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and early conclude negotiations to establish a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) , affirming that these will contribute to peace and stability in the region.
Also on February 19, Vietnamese F oreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Le Hai Binh said Vietnam is deeply concerned over China’s activities in reply to reporters’ questions about Vietnam’s reaction to foreign media’s reports that China built a military helicopter base on Quang Hoa Island and deployed HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles on Phu Lam Island of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa Archipelago,
Those moves seriously violate Vietnam’s sovereignty of the archipelago and threaten peace and stability in the region, as well as navigation and aviation security, safety and freedom in the East See, the spokesperson stressed.
“Vietnam demands China end its wrongful activities on Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago,” Binh said.
The same day, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a diplomatic note to the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi to protest against China’s infringements on Vietnam’s sovereignty on Hoang Sa Archipelago.
Vietnam’s permanent mission to the UN also sent a diplomatic note to the UN Secretary-General proposing the official circulation of the Vietnamese foreign ministry’s diplomatic note.-VNA