|President Truong Tan Sang meets officers of Submarine Brigade 189 at the naval base in the central province of Khanh Hoa's Cam Ranh City yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
KHANH HOA (VNS) — President Truong Tan Sang visited naval units based in the central province of Khanh Hoa's Cam Ranh city yesterday, asking them to improve defence effectiveness and attach importance to the relationship with neighbouring countries, ASEAN member nations, countries Viet Nam had a long-term friendship with and world powers.
Meeting with officers of Submarine Brigade 189, the leader told the Viet Nam People's Navy to continue providing consultancy for the Party, State and Ministry of Defence on issues relating to the country's relations with nations bordering the East Sea and exert all efforts to firmly safeguard sea and island sovereignty and ensure a peaceful environment.
The President stressed that strengthening of military power was in accordance with Viet Nam's development and the defence-security requirement for all nations, adding that it was meant to protect the country.
He told the navy to remain aware of the Party and State's consistent and clear stance on Viet Nam's sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes, as well as the country's sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction over its waters, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in line with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and Viet Nam's 2012 Law of the Sea.
Viet Nam pursued a policy of peacefully solving East Sea disputes on the basis of international law and the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and working towards the formation of a code of conduct in the East Sea (COC), the leader noted.
At the working session, Admiral Nguyen Van Hien, Deputy Defence Minister and the navy's Commander, informed President Sang about the navy's work and the current maritime situation.
The State leader praised the navy's efforts in external relations, ensuring the safety of sea-based economic activities and search and rescue in offshore waters.
During his stay in Khanh Hoa, he also visited the High Command of Naval Region 4 and Fisheries Surveillance Unit 4.
President Sang asked authorities in central Khanh Hoa Province to survey local fishery reserves and fishing capacity to avoid building unnecessary offshore fishing ships.
During a fact-finding tour of Khanh Hoa on Saturday, he also told the province to implement assistance policies for fishermen.
Decree 67, which took effect on August 25, encourages fishermen to build high-capacity, iron-covered ships capable of fishing offshore, a practice that can earn them higher incomes and help protect the country's territorial waters. As many as 2,079 new offshore fishing ships and 205 logistics ships will be built under the decree.
The new policy brought hope to the region, said local fisherman Tran Van Phat, a message seconded by officials of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. However, obstacles remained in its implementation as few could access preferential bank loans for building fishing vessels.
Sang visited the shipyard of Nha Trang University's Institute for Ship Research and Manufacturing, which is building composite fishing ships for local fishermen.
The leader welcomed feedback on shipbuilding assistance policies and the increase of law enforcement forces at sea, adding that several countries with advanced fishing industries were helping Viet Nam improve its fishing and product preservation techniques.
Sang also told local agencies to test composite ships constructed using Japanese technology and find the most appropriate models in terms of price, function, capacity, fuel consumption and product preservation.
The same day, he visited fisherman Tran Van Dat, who owns two tuna fishing vessels, in Thanh Dat village, Phuoc Dong commune and toured Hon Ro fishing port. When the port's upgrade is complete, it will serve as a tuna auction centre and one of the country's five key fisheries facilities. — VNS