Vietnam objects China's fishing activities in East Sea

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Vietnam on Friday protested China's recent fishing activities in the waters of Vietnam's Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, saying they violated its indisputable sovereignty .

Luong Thanh Nghi, spokesman of the Vietnamese foreign ministry, also rejected as "invalid" China's recent objections against oil and gas exploration projects carried out by Vietnam and Indian partners in the East Sea.

According to recent media reports, China had sent a 1,000 DWT (deadweight ton) fishing vessel to the Spratlys to support its fishing and aquaculture activities.

It was also reported that a fleet of some 500 Chinese fishing boats are operating in the archipelago's waters at the moment.

Spokesman Nghi told a press conference on Friday that Vietnam "holds indisputable sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa Archipelagoes."

Activities conducted in the areas without Vietnam's consent are violations of the country's sovereignty, he said.

Vietnam asks related parties "to refrain from actions that may complicate the situation in the East Sea to contribute to maintaining peace, stability in the region," Nghi said.

Concerning the oil and gas projects in the East Sea, Nghi said that such projects between Vietnam and its partners, "including those in Lots 127 and 128, lie within its exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and continental shelf and are completely under Vietnamese sovereignty, sovereign rights and national jurisdictions."

The cooperative projects are also "in line with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and with international practices as well as with multilateral and bilateral agreements to which Vietnam is a party," he said. 

Therefore, objections to the cooperation between Vietnam and its foreign partners in its continental shelf and the 200 mile EEZs "hold no legal basis and is thus invalid," Nghi said.

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