|Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh. — File Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — The Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago was an integral part of Viet Nam and its waters had long been traditional fishing grounds for Vietnamese fishermen, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said yesterday.
Binh was answering reporters' queries on Viet Nam's response to China's unilateral ban on fishing in the East Sea at a regular press conference yesterday.
He said Viet Nam would intensify management and closely monitor Vietnamese fishing activities in the waters of Viet Nam to address arising incidents "in a timely manner'.
Mentioning China's large-scale construction on reef islands that had altered the status quo and violated Viet Nam's sovereignty over the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, the spokesman said Viet Nam had full legal foundation and historical evidence proving its sovereignty on both archipelagoes.
All actions of parties in the area without Viet Nam's agreement were illegal and void, he added.
Vietnamese agencies are keeping an eye on operations in the East Sea, including the operation and position of China's drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981.
Regarding CNN's launch of a video capturing Chinese naval ships chasing US aircraft flying above the international waters of the East Sea, Binh said that maintaining peace, stability, aviation and maritime security and safety in the East Sea, which formed an important international maritime route and aviation corridor, was the common interest and aspiration of nations inside and outside the region.
He added that Viet Nam called on countries concerned to contribute to maintaining peace, stability, aviation and maritime security and safety in the East Sea in a responsible and active manner, while respecting the sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction of coastal nations on the basis of international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and avoiding complicating the situation.
Also at yesterday's conference, Binh said Viet Nam was ready to work with other countries involved in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.
Replying to a question on the possibility of wrapping up the negotiations and signing the agreement this year, Binh said Viet Nam would follow the principle of fairness with regard to mutual benefits and respect to interests of the TPP member countries.
TPP negotiations were launched in 2005 between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Viet Nam.
The agreement is one of the world's biggest on free-trade. The combined gross domestic product (GDP) of all 12 countries account for 40 per cent of global GDP.
It is said to be of a high standard, perhaps even an unprecedented standard.
This has caused difficulties for most of the countries involved, especially in some key fields such as protecting intellectual property rights or opening up the goods market. — VNS