Vietnam Time

8/9/2019 10:38:24 AM

China’s vessels halt geological survey in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone

China’s survey vessel group Haiyang Dizhi 8 had halted its geological survey activities in Vietnam’s UNCLOS-defined exclusive economic zone and southeastern continental shelf on August 7, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang said on August 8.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang. Photo: VGP

Hang made the affirmation while answering reporters’ queries regarding the latest developments of the operation of the Chinese survey vessel group in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

Competent Vietnamese agencies are continuing to keep a close watch on the situation, the spokeswoman added. 

Over the past days, Vietnam has repeatedly voiced its opinions on the incident and implemented measures at all levels and under various forms in accordance with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS, she said.

“Vietnam calls on countries to respect its sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in line with international law,” Hang said. 

She highlighted Vietnam’s goodwill to stand ready to hold dialogues with concerned countries to settle disputes, contributing to maintaining peace, stability and development in the East Sea, and promoting the friendship and cooperation between countries.

Regarding the operation of a US aircraft carrier in the East Sea, Hang said Vietnam has repeatedly affirmed the respect for freedom, security and safety of navigation and overflight in the waters in compliance with international law.

“Maintaining peace and stability, and ensuring aviation and navigation freedom in the East Sea in the spirit of respect for the law are in the common interest of the international community,” she said.

Given China’s geological survey vessel group Haiyang Dizhi 8 violating Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in the south of the East Sea, Vietnam has contacted the Chinese side for many times via different channels, handed over protest diplomatic notes and demanded China to immediately withdraw all of its vessels from Vietnam’s waters and to respect Vietnam’s sovereign right and jurisdiction, for the sake of the relations between the two countries and for regional stability and peace.

The Tu Chinh reef (internationally known as Vanguard Bank) is located in Vietnam’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone and completely belongs to the country, defined in  line with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).

The Tu Chinh reef is located near the international navigation route and plays an important role in Vietnam’s economic building and development, as well as the country’s maritime sovereignty management and protection.

Therefore, all activities of foreign countries in Vietnam’s waters must be conducted in line with relevant regulations of the 1982 UNCLOS and Vietnamese law. Those which are not allowed by Vietnam are all violations of  the country’s waters and international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.

Vietnam’s territorial land and waters would be in the normal and stable condition if there are no violations that ignore international law and complicate the situation.

Also, maintaining regional peace and order, and ensuring maritime security and safety in the East Sea, including the Tu Chinh reef, on the basis of international law would bring about common interests to countries in the region and the international community./.

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