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Vietnam’s reaction to China’s violation of maritime sovereignty is still weak: people

Tuesday, June 30, 2015, 15:19 GMT+7

People in Ho Chi Minh City have told the state president that they want the law-making National Assembly (NA) to voice an official, strong opposition to China’s violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty.| They are residents in District 3 who stated their opinions at a meeting with State President Truong Tan Sang and Tran Du Lich, head of the NA delegation of the city, on Monday.  Hoang Xuan Duong, a local man, and some others said that China has committed many serious violations of Vietnam’s sovereignty over its seas and islands since 2014. The world has opposed such infringements and U.S. Congress has also made a strong response to them, Duong said. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese NA, which represents the people’s will and aspirations, has yet to raise an official voice against Beijing’s violations, Duong said, asking for the reason. In reply, President Sang said he acknowledged the people’s opinion that the NA’s recent response to China’s infringements of Vietnam’s sovereignty over its seas and islands has not been strong enough, which has left people unsatisfied. He promised to forward these opinions to the NA Standing Committee and the NA chairman for consideration.   The president added that the struggle for protecting sovereignty is a long-term process that requires both strong determination and patience. People at the meeting raised such voices following the fact that at the press briefing held after the NA closed its ninth session in Hanoi on June 26, reporters put questions as to why the NA had yet to issue a resolution on the East Vietnam Sea issue. NA spokesperson Nguyen Hanh Phuc then told reporters that the legislature was closely following the East Vietnam Sea situation and would issue a resolution when necessary. Phuc also said that the consistent policy of the Party and State on Vietnam’s sovereignty over the waters had been shown in regular press briefings of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung affirmed at the closing NA meeting on June 26 that China had seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over its seas and islands by conducting land reclamation and building artificial islands atop reefs that belong to the Southeast Asian country in the East Vietnam Sea. The chairman also called on the entire political system of Vietnam to take action to protect the fatherland’s sovereignty. At yesterday’s meeting, President Sang told locals that many countries have given support to Vietnam’s stance, as well as ASEAN’s position, on the maritime disputes. China and ASEAN have signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC), but Beijing has violated it by changing the status quo in the waters, and therefore it has been rapped for such violations, President Sang said. He added that Vietnam has also vehemently protested China’s breach of the DOC. The president pointed out that many other countries have common interests in the East Vietnam Sea, as it is an international maritime route that accounts for 50 percent of the volume of global cargo. Therefore, maritime safety and security in the sea area are a very important issue to every country, the president said.

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