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Vietnam responds to Chinese defense chief's call for maritime war preparation

Friday, August 05, 2016, 14:43 GMT+7

Vietnam is urging China to refrain from threats of violence toward other nations with regard to the current situation in the East Vietnam Sea.

At a regular press conference organized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hanoi on Thursday, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper posed questions to Spokesperson Le Hai Binh.

In reference to Vietnam’s reaction to Chinese media announcements that Chinese defense minister Chang Wanquan urged preparations for a war at sea to defend their self-proclaimed sovereignty, Spokesperson Binh affirmed that high-ranking officials from all nations should speak and act appropriately with respect toward international law.

“They must not use or threaten violence and must actively contribute to the preservation of peace and stability in the region and the world,” the Vietnamese diplomat asserted.

He reiterated the significance of peace in the East Vietnam Sea and the necessity of amicable settlement of disputes in the maritime area in accordance with international law.

The Chinese defense chief said during his trip to the coastal province of Zhejiang that national security situations had been compromised by threats from the sea, calling for the military, police, and public to get ready to defend their territorial authority, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

Regarding public concern over Vietnam’s approval for the establishment of a Chinese consulate general in the central city of Da Nang, Binh stated that the decision was aimed at enhancing economic cooperation and diplomatic exchanges between Chinese localities and Da Nang, as well as other central Vietnamese locales.

The agency is also expected to assist Vietnamese authorities in the prompt settlement of all matters relating to consular affairs, the spokesperson added.

He also addressed several questions regarding cyberattacks on Vietnam’s major airports allegedly carried out by a Chinese group of hackers last week, asserting that the action must be condemned and severely punished.

“The airports have resumed their normal operations while competent authorities have applied all measures to ensure information security. Investigation is also underway to seek out responsible individuals,” Binh said.

Vietnam hopes to cooperate with the international community in the prevention and resolution of cyberattacks, the diplomat stated.

On Friday last week, flight information and loudspeaker systems at international airports Noi Bai in Hanoi and Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City were compromised, displaying offensive messages about Vietnam and the Philippines.

At the same time, the VIP membership database of national carrier Vietnam Airlines was also stolen and leaked online.

The Chinese hacker group 1937cn is believed to be responsible for the attacks.

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