Vietnam on April 6 called out China's illegal activities in its waters and doubled down on its claims of the islands in the South China Sea.
Deputy spokesperson Pham Thu Hang made the remarks during the press conference in Hà Nội, in response to the reports of Chinese survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 4's entry into Vietnam's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) since last month.
|Deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Thu Hang__Photo: Phuogn Uyen/VNA|
"Vietnam wishes to reaffirm that our consistent position is that all activities in the South China Sea (known in Vietnam as the East Sea) need to strictly adhere to international law, respect the sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction towards our waters as established by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)," Hang stressed.
According to the latest updates from Vietnam's maritime law enforcement, the Chinese vessel has left Vietnamese waters, the diplomat told the press.
A report on the National Natural Science Foundation of China's announcement of 33 sections/routes for frequent research ship visits, which include locations overlapping with Vietnam's Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, was also raised at the meeting.
The deputy spokesperson reiterated that Vietnam has full legal basis and historical evidence to assert sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Spratly in accordance with international law, as well as to assert sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdictions towards Vietnamese waters in accordance with the 1982 UNCLOS.
Deputy spokesperson Hang stressed: "Scientific research and survey in the vicinity of the Spratly Islands and Vietnam's waters as established in accordance with the 1982 UNCLOS that are conducted without Vietnam's express permission is a violation of Vietnam's sovereignty over the Spratlys as well as Vietnam's sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the waters here, and is therefore null and void."
Regarding China Daily's interview with Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in which he calls on dialogue to resolve disputes in the South China Sea and that the current disputes are not "insurmountable", deputy spokesperson Hang commented that Vietnam is consistent with its position in supporting the peaceful resolution of disputes.
Vietnam supports countries' handling of disagreements by respecting the lawful rights and interests of countries and by adhering to the 1982 UNCLOS and to maintain the peace, stability, and development in the region, she said.
"With this policy, Vietnam stands ready to discuss with countries to resolve all the issues which are historical legacies to contribute to the stability of the region," the diplomat remarked.
Migrant deaths in Taiwan
Regarding the seven dead bodies found a week ago off Chinese Taipei's waters that bear Vietnamese identifications, deputy spokesperson Hang said that under the directions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the consular department and the Vietnam Economic & Culture Office in Taipei have been working closely with Taiwan's authorities to closely follow the case.
Support is also being extended to the families of those missing to facilitate identification processes and other arrangements.
Hang also took note of the new report where Taiwanese authorities found illegal immigrants on a ship in its waters, also with Vietnamese identity papers.
Vietnamese representatives in Taipei have immediately taken the initiative to contact Chinese authorities to grasp the situation and implement necessary protection measures, according to the deputy spokesperson.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also working with domestic competent authorities to clarify information to closely follow the case and to raise people's awareness of safe and legal migration in order to prevent future real occurrences," Hang said.
She also underlined Vietnamese Government's policy is to facilitate safe, legal and orderly migration, while also combating illegal migration, human smuggling and human trafficking.
Recently, Vietnam has resolutely implemented measures to prevent and combat human trafficking and implemented the Program on Prevention and Combating Human Trafficking in 2021-25 period with orientations to 2030 (issued in February 2021), with new solutions and missions to prevent and combat human trafficking in all areas, according to the diplomat.
Vietnam is also making every effort to realize the goals of the Implementation Plan of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) in accordance with a plan issued by the Prime Minister on March 20, 2020, in order to create a transparent migration environment, safeguard the lawful rights and interest of migrants, and prevent the risk of human trafficking in international migration.
The deputy spokesperson also said that Vietnam has signed on cooperation with a number of countries and organizations, including INTERPOL, with regards to prevention, detection, investigation and handling of human trafficking rings in accordance with the laws.