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Vietnam welcomes tribunal ruling on South China Sea dispute

Vietnamese residents hold banners during a gathering in Hanoi, Vietnam on Monday March 14, 2016. About 200 Vietnamese gathered in central Hanoi then to remember 64 Vietnamese soldiers who were killed by the Chinese navy in a clash 28 years ago in the disputed South China Sea. AP/Tran Van Minh, file
Vietnam welcomed a tribunal ruling rejecting China's vast claims in the South China Sea, saying it strongly supports the settlement of such disputes through diplomatic and legal processes.
The ruling issued in The Hague on Tuesday involved a case brought by the Philippines, but China's claims also overlap with Vietnam's. China, which refused to participate in proceedings, has rejected the ruling.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh also reiterated Vietnam's sovereignty in the disputed Paracel and Spratly island chains.
Earlier in the day, Vietnam accused Chinese vessels of sinking a Vietnamese fishing boat near the Paracels on Saturday. The five fishermen were rescued by a trawler some seven hours later.
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