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Top Party member asks China to respect Vietnam’s rights at sea after EEZ infringement

Monday, July 22, 2019, 11:42 GMT+7
Top Party member asks China to respect Vietnam’s rights at sea after EEZ infringement
Chinese survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 is seen in this screen grab from HK01 and a tracker map of its route between July 3-19, 2019 posted on the Twitter account of Prof. Ryan Martinson.

Vo Van Thuong, Politburo member and Secretary of the Vietnamese Party’s Central Committee, on Sunday requested that China respect Vietnam’s rights and legitimate interests at sea during a meeting with a top Chinese Party official in China on Sunday.

Thuong made the request regarding Chinese ships’ infringement upon Vietnamese waters over the last several days as he was in the Chinese city of Guiyang, in Guizhou Province, on Sunday for the 15th theoretical workshop between the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The two-day event, which wrapped up on Monday, discussed theoretical and practical issues in the building and modernizing of socialism in each country, the Vietnam News Agency reports.

Prior to the main event, Thuong had a meeting with Zhao Leji, member of the CPC Politburo’s Standing Committee and Secretary of the CPC Central Committee’s Discipline Inspection Commission, and held talks with Huang Kunming, Politburo member, Secretary of the CPC Central Committee’s Secretariat and head of the CPC Central Committee’s Publicity Department.

The officials informed each other about the situation of their respective parties and countries and exchanged views on relations between the two sides in the recent past.

They discussed orientations for continuing to promote the healthy and stable development of bilateral ties in the time ahead.

Participants also talked about ways to step up cooperation and exchange between the CPC’s Information and Education Commission and the CPC’s Publicity Department.

Vo Van Thuong (L), Politburo member, Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee and head of the CPV Central Committee’s Information and Education Commission, and Huang Kunming, Politburo member, Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee’s Secretariat and head of the CPC Central Committee’s Publicity Department, shake hands at a workshop in Guiyang City, China on July 21, 2019. Photo: Vietnam News Agency
Vo Van Thuong (L), Politburo member, Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee and head of the CPV Central Committee’s Information and Education Commission, and Huang Kunming, Politburo member, Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee’s Secretariat and head of the CPC Central Committee’s Publicity Department, shake hands at a workshop in Guiyang City, China on July 21, 2019. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

Regarding sea-related issues, Thuong asked both sides to realize well the common perceptions reached by the two parties and countries’ leaders, including the Vietnam-China agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues, and resolve disagreements by peaceful means and in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

He requested China to respect Vietnam’s rights and legitimate interests at sea in conformity with international law so as not to negatively affect the development of the countries’ relations.

Last week, Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had sent diplomatic notes to oppose China’s ships infringing upon Vietnamese waters in the East Vietnam Sea.

“Over the last several days, the Chinese survey ship, Haiyang Dizhi 8, and its escorts conducted activities in the southern area of the East Sea that violated Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf as established in the provisions of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which Vietnam and China are party,” Le Thi Thu Hang, the foreign ministry’s spokesperson, was quoted as saying in a statement posted on its website on Friday.

“This area lies entirely within the Vietnamese waters.”

Haiyang Dizhi 8 has been carrying out “a seismic survey of Vietnam's exclusive economic zone,” escorted by other Chinese vessels, in waters just west of Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, according to controversial reports that stemmed from updates by Ryan Martinson, an assistant professor at the U.S. Naval War College, on his Twitter account since July 10.

Operated by the China Geological Survey, the Haiyang Dizhi-8 is 20.4 meters wide, 88 meters long, can cruise for up to 16,000 nautical miles and has a maximum speed of over 15 knots, according to china.org.cn, a Chinese state news website, and the CGS.

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