Viêt Nam Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Lê Thị Thu Hằng during Thursday press briefing in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Lâm Khánh
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday condemned Chinese’s establishment of two research stations on Đá Chữ Thập (Fiery Cross Reef) and Đá Xu Bi (Subi Reef) which are parts of Việt Nam's Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelago.
“Việt Nam requested China to respect its sovereignty, don’t take any action to increase tension, complicate the situation and affect peace and stability in East Sea and the region as well as efforts in the negotiation of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea,” Lê Thị Thu Hằng, spokesperson for the foreign ministry, said at a press briefing in Hà Nội.
“Việt Nam has repeatedly stated it has sufficient historical and legal evidence to prove its sovereignty over Hoàng Sa (Paracel) and Trường Sa archipelagoes in line with international law.”
All activities in these two archipelagos must be permitted by Việt Nam.
On March 20, Xinhua news agency reported that two research stations were put into operation on Yongshu and Zhubi islands in the South China Sea. The stations will support scientists in field investigation, sampling and scientific research on the island, it said.
Fiery Cross Reef and Subi Reef were called Yongshu and Zhubi Reef by China.
While fielding a question on Việt Nam’s reaction to Taiwan (China)’s live-fire exercise around Ba Binh (Itu Aba) island in Việt Nam’s Spratly Archipelago, Hằng said it was a serious violation of Việt Nam’s sovereignty, posing a threat to peace, stability and maritime security and safety, as well as causing tensions and complicating the situation in the East Sea.
Việt Nam opposed the exercise and demanded Taiwan refrain from such actions in the future, she said.
Vietnamese citizens abroad get support
Concerning assistance to Vietnamese citizens stranded at international airports abroad, the spokesperson said Vietnamese representative agencies in foreign countries are working with international airlines and local authorities to ensure health care as well as essential supplies for them.
The Foreign Ministry has warned Vietnamese citizens abroad to refrain from travels between countries and to Việt Nam amidst the complex developments of COVID-19, she said.
They are required to follow guidelines and regulations in the host countries and airlines and ensure they can provide documentation to take flights, especially medical certificates if needed.
The ministry directed Vietnamese representative agencies abroad to work closely with the host authorities, international airports and airlines to provide detailed information about Việt Nam’s immigration policies, affirming that Vietnamese citizens could return home without certification documents from representative agencies abroad.
Vietnamese representative agencies abroad are also required to check the number of Vietnamese citizens stuck at airports and offer support if necessary.
As many as 800 citizens have been supported and arrived home safely between March 21-25. About 40 others have been reported “stuck” at international airports in foreign countries, she said.
No infection cases have been recorded among the staff of Vietnamese representative agencies.
In response to a question relating to the Government’s move to temporarily the halt of signing new rice export contracts, Hằng said the Government always paid attention to ensuring food security along with rice exports.
Foreigners in Việt Nam can apply for visa extensions at the Immigration Department under the Ministry of Public Security in line with regulations, Hằng said during discussions about the issue.
Việt Nam frequently shares relevant information and stands ready to coordinate and create favourable conditions for foreign representative agencies in the country to conduct citizen protection and address visa-related issues on the basis of ensuring requirements on disease prevention and control in accordance with domestic and international laws, she said. — VNS