Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lê Thị Thu Hằng. — VNA/VNS Photo Lâm Khánh
HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese Government will apply measures to stop trade fraud and foreign products being exported as Vietnamese goods, spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lê Thị Thu Hằng has said.
She was responding to a question about Chinese goods branded as made-in-Vietnam being exported to a third country at press conference held by the ministry yesterday in Hà Nội.
Over the last few days, the General Department of Việt Nam Customs has taken steps to prevent such acts and protect domestic production, she added.
The spokeswoman also addressed reports that Vietnamese fishing boats operating in the waters of Hoàng Sa (Paracel) archipelago had been driven away and had their assets and fishing tools confiscated.
She said: “Việt Nam has sufficient legal foundation and historical evidence testifying to its sovereignty over Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa archipelagos in line with international law.
“The above-mentioned actions of China’s authorised vessels violated Việt Nam’s sovereignty over Hoàng Sa archipelago, infringed international law and the Việt Nam-China agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues, and threatened the safety and assets of Vietnamese fishermen who were working normally in this sea area.
“Việt Nam opposes the above-mentioned action of the Chinese side and demands that China strictly deal with the Chinese crew members and authorised vessels that committed the violations, pay proper compensation to the affected Vietnamese fishermen, and educate the Chinese crew members to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents.”
Asked about the report that a steel fishing ship of China rammed into and sunk a Philippine fishing boat, leaving 22 Philippine fishermen adrift, Hằng said Việt Nam maintained that vessels, including fishing vessels, while operating at sea, have the responsibility to comply with international law.
They have the responsibility to humanely treat and assist fishermen in distress at sea, she said.
She noted the Vietnamese fishing boat fulfilled its international obligations while at sea as regulated in the 1982 UNCLOS and the IMO Convention, to which Việt Nam is a party.
Commenting on a US Coast Guard official’s statement that Washington will increase this force’s presence in the East Sea, she said as a country bordering the East Sea and a member of the 1982 UNCLOS, Việt Nam’s stance is that all countries are entitled to the freedom of navigation and aviation in conformity with international law as codified in the 1982 UNCLOS.
“Việt Nam requests other countries to continue making active and practical contributions to maintaining peace and stability in the region, respect and fulfill relevant legal obligations, and respect the law while operating on seas and oceans,” she said. — VNS