Vietnam resolutely opposes China’s activities in Bombay Reef

Friday, 2018-11-23 11:12:33
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Foreign Ministry’s Vice Spokesperson Nguyen Phuong Tra
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NDO/VNA - Vietnam resolutely opposes China’s installation of a new structure in Bong Bay (Bombay) Reef in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago and demands China to immediately end the operation and not conduct similar actions, said the Foreign Ministry’s Vice Spokesperson Nguyen Phuong Tra.

Tra made the statement at the ministry’s regular press conference in Hanoi on November 22 in response to reporters’ questions regarding the information that China had installed a new structure in Bong Bay (Bombay) Reef of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago.

“Vietnam has sufficient legal grounds and historical evidence testifying its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos in conformity with international law,” she said.

The vice spokesperson stressed that China’s continuous conducting of activities in the Hoang Sa archipelago is a serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty over the islands, going against the common perspectives reached by senior leaders of the two countries; infringing upon the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea issues between Vietnam and China, as well as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea signed in 2002 between ASEAN and China; and making the situation in the East Sea more complicated and tense.

Vietnam requests China to respect Vietnam’s sovereignty and international law, and to take practical actions to contribute to the development of the Vietnam-China cooperation and friendship, as well as the maintenance of peace and stability in the East Sea.

* Concerning Taiwan (China)’s live-fire drills around Ba Binh (Itu Aba) island in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, the Foreign Ministry’s Vice Spokesperson Nguyen Phuong Tra stated that Vietnam once again resolutely opposes Taiwan’s action and demands that it refrain from such actions in the future. She added that Vietnam has sufficient legal basis and historic evidence affirming its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos in accordance with international law.

Taiwan’s continuation of live-fire drills in the waters around Ba Binh island in Vietnam’s Truong Sa archipelago despite Vietnam’s opposition is a serious violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty over the archipelago, posing a threat to peace, stability, maritime security and safety, as well as causing tension and complicating the situation in the East Sea, she stressed.

* In response to reporters’ queries about Vietnam’s stance on a memorandum of understanding on oil and gas exploitation signed between the Philippines and China on November 20, the Foreign Ministry’s Vice Spokesperson Nguyen Phuong Tra stated that oil and gas cooperation between the Philippines and China can only be conducted in waters that both sides hold sovereignty and sovereignty rights over, in line with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
She stated that Vietnam’s stance on the East Sea issue, including sovereignty, sovereignty rights, and legitimate rights at sea, is clear and consistent, and has been declared multiple times.

As a responsible member of the international community and an East Sea bordering country, Vietnam highly values international cooperation, including cooperation at sea on the basis of respecting the sovereignty and legitimate rights of parties concerned in line with international law, especially the 1982 UNCLOS, for the sake of peace, stability, and development in the region, as well as for the friendship and collaboration amongst surrounding countries.

* In response to reporters’ queries regarding China’s remark of completing the negotiations on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea within the next three years, the Foreign Ministry’s Vice Spokesperson Nguyen Phuong Tra stated that maintaining peace, security and stability in the East Sea is the mutual benefit and shared responsibility of all the countries, including the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China.

“Accordingly and in face of the complicated developments in the recent past, ASEAN has repeatedly urged for the early finalisation of the COC in the East Sea. It is most important to achieve an effective, substantive, and binding COC in line with international law – especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) – thus making real contributions to peace, stability and security in the region in general and the East Sea in particular”, Tra continued.