Vietnam opposes Chinese fishing fleet amid bilateral talks

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 A flag-saluting ceremony on Vietnam's Truong Sa (Spratly) Island in the East Sea

Vietnam will keep a close eye on the progress of 32 Chinese fishing boats heading toward the Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago, said Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi.

Any activity conducted without Vietnam's consent violates the country's sovereignty, he told members of the media at a May 9 press conference.

Nghi said all activity in the East Sea must adhere to international laws, especially the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea, and respect the sovereignty of involved countries.

Nghi said both sides will review the cooperative efforts undertaken by the two countries since the committee's last meeting in September 2011; and discuss ways to improve bilateral cooperation in terms of politics, economics, trade, education, culture, sports and technology.

Both sides will also discuss regional issues of mutual interest, such as maintaining peace and stability in the region.

The Vietnam-China Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation has convened sessions in Vietnam and China on a rotating basis since being established in 2006. 

In related news, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan is leading a Vietnamese delegation to the 6th session of the Vietnam-China Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation being held in Beijing from May 10-12.

The Deputy PM is being accompanied by leaders of several ministries and Vietnam's seven northerly provinces that border China.

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