Vietnam PM calls for sovereignty protection at sea week

TN News

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The Vietnamese prime minister urged all Vietnamese to protect the country's territorial waters and islands at a meeting in the resort beach town of Nha Trang on Wednesday.

PM Nguyen Tan Dung reaffirmed "the incontestable maritime sovereignty of Vietnam towards to two archipelagos, Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly)." 

The meeting, held by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, was to celebrate the Vietnam Sea and Islands Week, which wrapped up on Wednesday, as well as the World Ocean Day (June 8). Many leaders of coastal provinces, thousands of locals and students attended the event.

In his speech, Dung said the event was "an occasion for us to once again to affirm our determination to protect the nation's sacred waters and islands, support activities to fight climate change, and preserve sea environment for the sake of our planet's sustainable development."

He asked Vietnamese people to continue stressing Vietnam's sovereignty and jurisdiction over its waters and islands, including the sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelagoes.

The country's rights over its 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) must also be upheld, he said.

"We patiently follow the policies of solving disputes in the East Sea with peaceful measures and in accordance with international legal basis, especially the UNCLOS, but we while strongly protesting and struggling against activities violating our sovereignty and legitimate interests in the sea," the PM said.

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"While trying to find a basic and long-lasting solution, Vietnam demands related parities restrain themselves, not making actions that complicate the East Sea's situation."

He also asked the parties to solve disputes with peaceful measures and international laws by strictly compling with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and working towards the conclusion of a Code of Conduct (COC) agreement between ASEAN and China.

According to Dung, territorial sovereignty and peace keeping in the East Sea need to be dealt with in the light of the country's economic and social development strategies, and the foreign affair policies pursuing peace and independence.

The PM asked for the improvement of Vietnam's legal policies and laws related to sea and islands together with more research and studies on technologies, and ways of managing sea environment and resources.

As part of the event, the Nha Trang-based Institute of Oceanography on Wednesday opened an exhibition room displaying samples of marine species found from the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Archipelagoes.

Many rare materials as well as pictures that help assert Vietnam's sovereignty over the archipelagoes can also be found at the exhibition.

Meanwhile, the local Me Trang Coffee Joint-stock Company that day displayed Truong Sa's map made from coffee beans at the Nha Trang Coastal Park.

With the size of 3x6 meters, the map was claimed to be the largest of its kind and expected to be entered into Vietnam's record book at the Sea Festival 2011, which will be opened at Nha Trang this Saturday.

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