|A Vietnamese fishing boat operating in the East Sea. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Văn Nhật|
HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam Fisheries Society (VINAFIS) has voiced its objection to China’s unilateral fishing ban in the South China Sea (known as the East Sea in Việt Nam), saying the annual ban increases the risk of confrontation between Vietnamese fishing boats and the Chinese coast guard.
It is also hindering normal activities of Vietnamese vessels and fishermen in Việt Nam’s sovereign waters, VINAFIS said in an official protest recently sent to the Government Office, relevant ministries and agencies.
China has imposed a 3-month fishing ban in the South China Sea, starting from May 1, covering part of the Gulf of Tonkin and Việt Nam’s Hoàng Sa (Paracel) Archipelago.
According to the VINAFIS, the unilateral repetitive ban is absurd, infringing Việt Nam's sovereignty and violating the country’s legitimate rights and interests over its exclusive economic zone. It also violates international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and runs counter to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.
China’s fishing ban has no legal value on Việt Nam’s sovereign waters, it said, calling for the immediate removal of the ban.
The VINAFIS urged Vietnamese authorities to make strong protests and take drastic action to counter the ban in order to protect Việt Nam’s marine resources, ensure safety for fishermen and safeguard the national security and sea and island sovereignty.
Earlier on April 29, asked for Việt Nam’s response on the issue, spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lê Thị Thu Hằng emphasised the demand that China respect Việt Nam’s sovereignty.
She said that Việt Nam’s stance on China’s fishing ban in the South China Sea was consistent and had been asserted clearly over recent years.
Accordingly, part of this ban’s scope has violated Việt Nam’s sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa (Paracel) archipelago and the country’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction identified in line with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the agreement on the delimitation of the Gulf of Tonkin signed by the two countries in 2000.
Việt Nam demands China respect Việt Nam’s sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa archipelago, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction over Việt Nam’s sea areas when implementing measures for conserving fisheries resources in the South China Sea; not complicate the situation; and contribute to the maintenance of peace, stability, and order in the South China Sea. — VNS