Spokeswoman of the Foreign Ministry Le Thi Thu Hang responded to reporters’ questions about several issues at a regular press conference on June 20.
|Spokeswoman of the Foreign Ministry Le Thi Thu Hang|
Replying to a question about some Chinese goods found to be branded as made-in-Vietnam for export to a third country, Hang said the Vietnamese Government will firmly stop and strictly deal with trade frauds and foreign products exported to other markets in the name of Vietnamese goods.
Over the last few days, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has taken steps to prevent such acts and protect domestic production, she added.
Regarding reports that in the recent past, some Vietnamese fishing boats operating in the waters of Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago were driven away and had their assets and fishing tools confiscated, the spokeswoman emphasised that Vietnam has sufficient legal foundation and historical evidence testifying to its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos in line with international law.
“The above-mentioned actions of China’s authorised vessels violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa archipelago, infringed international law and the Vietnam-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.
“Vietnam resolutely 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,” Hang said.
She added that on June 19, a representative of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs met with a representative of the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi to protest the abovementioned actions by the Chinese side and request China to verify the incident, properly compensate the affected Vietnamese fishermen and strictly handle the involved crew members and vessels.
Asked about the report that a steel fishing ship of China was said to have rammed into and sunk a Philippine fishing boat, leaving 22 Philippine fishermen adrift, Hang said Vietnam held that vessels, including fishing vessels, while operating at sea have the responsibility to comply with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the initiatives of the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Accordingly, they have the responsibility to humanely treat and assist fishermen in distress at sea.
She noted the Vietnamese fishing boat fulfilled the international obligations while working at sea as regulated in the 1982 UNCLOS and the IMO Convention, to which Vietnam is a party.
Meanwhile, 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, Vietnam’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.
“Vietnam requests that countries continue making active and practical contributions to maintaining peace and stability in the region, respect and fulfil relevant legal obligations, and respect the law while operating on seas and oceans,” the official added.-VNA