In the note, Britain, France and Germany, also known as the E3 Group, emphasized that the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is `the legal framework for all activities on the seas and oceans`, and emphasized

The E3 group affirms that members must respect the rights of innocent passage, freedom of navigation and overflight as stipulated in UNCLOS, especially in the East Sea.

Vietnam’s Subi Reef was built up by China into an artificial island.

The joint note of the three European countries affirms China’s drawing of the so-called `straight baseline` around Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago and the concept of `historic rights` that the country introduced to claim its claim.

Accordingly, the provisions of UNCLOS fully and clearly define how to determine straight baselines and archipelagic baselines.

`Declarations related to the exercise of historic rights in the East Sea violate international law and the provisions of UNCLOS,` the E3 Group’s note emphasized.

The ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, in the Philippines’ lawsuit against China’s `cow tongue line` claim in the East Sea on July 12, 2016 `clearly confirmed this point`

China unilaterally drew the `cow tongue line`, an absurd claim of sovereignty over nearly the entire area of the East Sea, despite international opposition.

China has also recently carried out a series of aggressive activities in the East Sea in the context of countries focusing on dealing with Covid-19.

The US announced its stance on the East Sea issue in early July, rejecting almost all of China’s sovereignty claims.

Vietnam has sufficient historical evidence and legal basis to assert its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa, in accordance with international law and UNCLOS, and is consistent with its stance of considering Hoang Sa and Truong Sa as part of the Paracel Islands.