The statement was made by Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh on March 17 in reply to reporters’ query related to China’s recent activities in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, such as bringing a 10,000-tonne ship with 300 tourists on board to Oc Hoa island, building an airport with a 3,500m airstrip on Cay island and encroaching An Vinh islands.
These activities run counter to common perceptions of the two countries’ high-level leaders, infringe the agreement on basis principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues, and negatively affect the bilateral relations. They also break international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed in 2002 between ASEAN and China, complicate the situation and cause tensions in the East Sea, Binh said.
|Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh
“Vietnam resolutely rejects and strongly opposes China’s above-mentioned actions, while requesting China to immediately end and not to repeat similar actions, to respect Vietnam’s sovereignty and international law, and to have practical actions contributing to developing the Vietnam-China friendship and cooperation, as well as maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea,” he added.
Vietnam once again affirms its indisputable sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes, the spokesman stated.
Answering a question related to fishermen, particularly those in the central region, reporting on attacks by Chinese vessels, Binh stressed that Vietnam firmly objects to inhuman behaviours, the use of force or threat to use force against Vietnamese fishermen, as they are unacceptable, in any circumstances.
Most recently, fishing vessel QNA 91939TS of central Quang Nam province with 10 fishermen aboard was intimidated by the Chinese ship coded 46101 when it was operating normally on the waters of Hoang Sa which is a traditional fishing ground of Vietnamese fishermen. The Chinese ship also took away several assets of Vietnamese fishermen.
These actions violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa archipelago, international law, as well as the spirit of the DOC, Binh said.
Vietnam demands China to immediately stop these inhuman actions, investigate and strictly punish the Chinese functional forces’ behaviors, compensate for losses of Vietnamese fishermen and prevent the repetition of similar actions, he added.