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VN’s reaction to Chinese call for war at sea

Update: August, 05/2016 - 11:03
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lê Hải Bình

HÀ NỘI – Officials need to speak and act in accordance with official statements as well as their countries’ obligations, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lê Hải Bình said at a regular press conference yesterday.

He made the remark while responding to information about the Chinese Defence Minister’s call upon the country’s army, police and people to prepare for a war at sea.

“Peace and stability in the East Sea [South China Sea] is the interest and aspiration of all countries within and outside of the region. Disputes in the waters must be resolved peacefully on the basis of international law, and without use of or threat to use force,” he said.

“Officials of countries need to speak and act in accordance with official statements as well as their nations’ obligations, which are respecting international law, not using or threatening to use force, and actively contributing to peace and stability in the region and the world,” Bình added.

Regarding a statement from the Supreme People’s Court of China saying that China will actively exercise jurisdiction to protect its territorial sovereignty and navigation interests, including jailing illegal fishermen, the spokesman said “The treatment of fishermen working in the East Sea must comply with international law and agreements reached between countries, and take on the humanitarian spirit.”

“Việt Nam reserves the necessary measures for protecting its fishermen’s legitimate interests in line with international law and practice,” he said.

In terms of China’s construction of a cemetery in Hoàng Sa (Paracel) archipelago, Bình reiterated “Việt Nam has sufficient legal foundations and historical evidence testifying to its sovereignty over Hoàng Sa archipelago.”

“All activities of other parties in areas within Hoàng Sa, regardless of intentions, are illegal and do not change Việt Nam’s sovereignty over this archipelago.”

Meanwhile, China recently opened a website on the East Sea which calls Việt Nam’s Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa (Spratly) by the names Xisha and Nansha of China.

Spokesman Bình made it clear that “This action by China does not change the fact that Việt Nam has indisputable sovereignty over Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa archipelagos.”

Consulate general boosts local exchanges

China’s opening of a consulate general in Việt Nam’s central city of Đà Nẵng aims to step up economic and trade co-operation and friendship exchanges between its localities and Vietnamese peers in the central region, Bình said.

He added that the Chinese consulate general will also work with Vietnamese relevant agencies to tackle consular issues between the two countries.

At present, some countries have opened their consulates general in Đà Nẵng City, the diplomat added.

Nationals’ rights protected

Việt Nam’s representative offices in Cambodia and Indonesia have worked to protect the legitimate rights of Vietnamese nationals living and working there, the spokesperson said yesterday.

Fielding questions regarding many Vietnamese in Cambodia facing deportation at the ministry’s regular press conference, Bình said Vietnamese agencies have worked closely with their Cambodian partners to handle issues facing Vietnamese nationals living in Cambodia.

“We expect that Cambodian authorised agencies and local authorities pay attention, create all possible favourable conditions and work to ensure Vietnamese in Cambodia enjoy their legitimate rights and benefits and lead a stable life there,” he said.

On Indonesia’s announcement on sinking a number of fishing boats, including some reportedly being Vietnamese boats, for illegal fishing, the spokesperson said the Vietnamese Embassy in Indonesia is working with the host country’s concerned agencies to verify the information and if so, it will take appropriate intervention measures.

In previous incidents relating to the arrest of Vietnamese fishermen and their boats, Vietnamese representative offices have always asked the Indonesian side to take on the humanitarian treatment of the violators, Bình said.

Cyber attacks must be condemned

All cyber attacks and hacking must be condemned and punished strictly, the foreign ministry spokesperson said.

Bình made the statement in reply to reporters’ queries on the recent attack on information systems and websites of several Vietnamese airlines by hackers who were said to be from China. The hackers spread messages related to territorial disputes over Trường Sa (Spratly) and Hoàng Sa (Paracel) archipelagoes.

Việt Nam’s agencies timely implemented necessary measures to ensure security, safety and normal operations at the airports, he said, adding that the country’s cyber security offices also took part in investigations.

Việt Nam wants and is willing to co-ordinate closely with the international community in the fight against violations in any forms, including the recent incident, Bình said.

On July 29, the computer systems at Tân Sơn Nhất Airport in HCM City and Nội Bài Airport in Hà Nội were hacked at 1:46pm and 4:07pm, respectively.

Data on thousands of Vietnam Airline’s Golden Lotus members were compromised and leaked.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam, the attacks affected more than 100 flights, dozens of them were delayed for between 15 minutes and over one hour. — VNS

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