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Explanation sought for fishing boat arrests

Update: July, 07/2014 - 08:50
Chinese fishing ships, supported by two coastal guard ships, tried to drive Vietnamese fishing boats away from their traditional fishing grounds.

HA NOI (VNS) — The Foreign Ministry's Consular Department asked the Chinese Embassy in Ha Noi yesterday to explain why Chinese naval ships arrested a Vietnamese fishing boat with six fishermen on board on July 3.

Department representatives met with those from the Chinese Embassy in Ha Noi and requested that the Chinese side deliver an official notice including the coordinates of the fishing boat when the arrest took place, as well as the reason for the arrest of the Vietnamese ship and fishermen, said Luong Thanh Quang, Assistant to the Department's chief and head of the Department's Section for Protection of Vietnamese Citizens and Legal Entities Abroad.

On July 5, the Foreign Ministry instructed the Vietnamese Embassy in Beijing to contact relevant Chinese agencies to verify information on the incident and take prompt measures to protect the detained Vietnamese fishermen.

Aggressive acts

Yesterday, Chinese vessels continued their aggressive acts at the site where Chinese oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 is illegally standing in Vietnamese waters, seeking to prevent Vietnamese law enforcement ships from approaching the rig.

Around 110 ships, including five military ships, were stationed at the site. Whenever Vietnamese fisheries surveillance vessels came near the rig, the Chinese ships simultaneously blasted sirens and sped towards them to stop them from moving closer.

Chinese fishing ships, supported by two coastal guard ships, tried to drive Vietnamese fishing boats away from their traditional fishing grounds.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese fisheries surveillance vessels braved the Chinese side's aggressive acts to reach an area 10-11.5 miles from the oil rig site, where they continued to carry out their mission of demanding that China withdraw the rig and ships from Viet Nam's waters.

The Vietnamese ships, however, stood strong about 10-11.5 nautical miles from the rig, demanding that the Chinese side withdraw its rig and ships from Viet Nam's waters.

Protest in Canada

Vietnamese communities in Ottawa and Vancouver, Canada, donated 10,000 CAD (US$9,300) to Vietnamese coast guard and fishery surveillance forces and fishermen who are protecting Viet Nam's sovereignty right and jurisdiction in its continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Canada in Ottawa To Anh Dung and Consul General in Vancouver Tran Quang Dung collected the donations during briefings on July 5.

Ambassador To Anh Dung also updated the Vietnamese community about Viet Nam's response to China's aggressive acts. Many voiced support for the Vietnamese state and government's firm and cautious stance.

Similar events will soon be held in Montreal and Toronto.

Czech's voice

The Czech Republic did not back the use of force or the threat to use force to settle territorial disputes in the East Sea, an official has said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Lubomir Zaoralek made the statement during a July 3 meeting with Vietnamese Ambassador Truong Manh Son in Prague.

Zaoralek expressed his support for Viet Nam's consistent stance to solve tensions in the East Sea by peaceful measures on the basis of abiding by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Ambassador Son briefed the host on the latest developments in the East Sea following China's illegal placement of its Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone, stressing that China's unreasonable move violated Viet Nam's sovereign right and jurisdiction, and at the same time infringing Vietnamese and international laws.

China's wrongful act also ran counter to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed between the country and ASEAN member nations, he said.

Earlier, in the annual meeting of the ASEAN Commission in Prague, ambassadors from the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia also voiced support for Viet Nam's efforts to settle territorial disputes though peaceful dialogue without the use of force. — VNS

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