Việt Nam never concedes in sovereignty matters: PM

October 22, 2019 - 08:09
Tensions escalated this summer when Beijing dispatched a research ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 escorted by other vessels to Việt Nam’s exclusive economic zone for energy surveys.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc delivered a report on the country's socio-economic development in 2019 at the opening session of the National Assembly in Hà Nội on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam will never make concessions to its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc told the National Assembly (NA) yesterday, following a months-long standoff with Chinese ships in the East Sea.

The PM delivered the message in his report on the country’s socio-economic development in 2019 to the 14th NA's 8th sitting which convened its autumn meeting session on Monday.

“What happened in the East Sea recently was getting very complicated, including serious violations in Việt Nam’s sea recognised by international law, which were against the DOC Statement and other high-level agreements,” Phúc said.

China claims more than 90 per cent of the East Sea (internationally known as the South China Sea) which is a key trade route in Southeast Asia and believed to be energy-rich waters. Việt Nam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims in the sea.

Tensions escalated this summer when Beijing dispatched a research ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 escorted by other vessels to Việt Nam’s exclusive economic zone for energy surveys.

Việt Nam’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Lê Thị Thu Hằng during press briefings repeatedly protested Beijing’s move which severely undermined Việt Nam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction, demanding all Chinese ships withdraw from Việt Nam’s sea.

“We will keep fighting in means in line with international law… and to protect the peaceful environment and the friendly and co-operative relations with other nations at the same time,” said the PM.

Achieving targets

In his report, Phúc also hailed economic achievements this year as the Government was expecting to reach or surpass all key 12 development goals by the end of 2019.

Việt Nam’s gross domestic product (GDP) this year was estimated at about 6.8 per cent, which would make the country among the countries with the highest growth in the world, the PM said.

Over the past time, Việt Nam has maintained the macro-economy firmly in the face of uncertainties of the global financial and monetary markets, with the consumer price index (CPI) growing less than 3 per cent, lower than the set target, PM Phúc said.
The building of new-style rural areas has reaped outstanding achievements, he reported, adding that by the end of this year, about 53-54 per cent of communes and 110 districts are set to win the status, meeting the target set for 2020 nearly two years ahead of schedule.

“Such a result has showcased the huge efforts of all governmental levels and the whole country when the agriculture sector was affected by the African swine fever outbreak plus severe heat and drought, while prices of agricultural products plummeted and key export markets faced difficulties.”

Regarding socio-economic development in 2020, Phúc said the Government would focus on a number of priorities, including stabilising the macroeconomy, keeping inflation under control and increasing the productivity, efficiency and competitiveness of the economy.

Việt Nam will try its best to well perform its roles as ASEAN Chair in 2020 and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term, while firmly protecting national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and a peaceful and stable environment for development, and improving the country’s prestige and position in the international area, PM Phúc said.
He presented some major targets set for next year, including a GDP growth rate at about 6.8 per cent, poverty reduction of 1-1.5 per cent and health coverage of 90.7 per cent, among others.

In an assessment report, head of the NA’s Economic Committee Vũ Hồng Thanh suggested increasing the rate of trained labourers to serve the target of high-quality human resources development.

Besides, the committee recommended paying more attention to the progress and quality of drafting laws, law enforcement, effective streamlining of administrative procedures, the transparent and strict handling of violations in performing public duties, environmental protection and the fight against diseases and crimes.

Longest session

A view of the National Assembly opening session of the 8th session on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo

The 8th session of the 14th NA opened in Hà Nội yesterday, marking the start of the longest meeting the NA this term has held.

The NA also held a preparatory meeting to discuss the working agenda of the session.

At this session, the NA is scheduled to pass 12 laws, three resolutions and give opinions on nine draft laws.

The legislature will also consider socio-economic and budgetary issues, including reports on socio-economic plans and the State budget in 2019, as well as for 2020.

A feasibility report for the Long Thành international airport project and a master plan on investment in socio-economic development in ethnic minority, mountainous and especially disadvantaged areas will be considered.

The Central Committee of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front delivered a report summing up citizens’ opinions and petitions sent to the NA’s 8th session, and the NA Standing Committee will report on its supervision of the settlement of petitions sent to the NA’s 7th session. The Government is to report on the State’s external relation work in 2019.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court and the Prosecutor General of the Supreme People’s Procuracy will submit reports on their performance to the NA, and the Government will present reports on the prevention and combat of crime and law violations, law enforcement and the fight against corruption in 2019.

The NA will conduct a supervision of the enforcement of policies and laws on fire prevention and fighting in 2014-18.

Three days during the 8th session will be reserved for question-and-answer sessions, personnel work and discussions and adoption of the session’s resolution.

The 8th session will last through November 27. — VNS