Vietnam has demanded China stop bullying Vietnamese fishermen in the former’s waters and provide compensation for damage caused by a recent attack.
Hanoi vehemently opposes all violent actions against Vietnamese fishers under any circumstances, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Le Hai Binh said at a regular press meeting on Thursday afternoon.
The statement was made in response to a recent incident in which a Vietnamese fishing boat was ambushed and looted by a Chinese Coast Guard vessel while operating off Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago on March 6.
The seafarers from the Chinese ship boarded the Vietnamese boat and stole food and oil before destroying two panniers and all of the ship’s fishing gear, according to the victims’ accounts.
“The actions are considered violations of Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa, international law, as well as the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea [DOC],” Spokesperson Binh asserted.
Hanoi demands that Beijing halt such acts, sternly punish those responsible for the violations, pay compensation for the damage caused, and avoid repetition of these infringements, the spokesperson continued.
During the press conference, the Vietnamese diplomat also answered local media’s questions regarding Vietnam’s response to China’s recent activities in Hoang Sa, including having a 10,000-metric-ton cruise ship carry 300 passengers to Oc Hoa Island, building an airport with a 3,500 meter long runway on Cay Island, doing reclaiming work around An Vinh Islands, and others.
China carrying out such activities despite the concern of Vietnam and the international community is a serious violation of the latter’s territorial authority over Hoang Sa, according to the spokesperson.
They go against the common perception of the two nations’ leaders and international law, elevating the tension in the East Vietnam Sea and negatively affecting bilateral relations between Vietnam and China.
Hanoi protests against Beijing’s recent moves in the sea and requires China to respect Vietnam’s territory and international law and have practical contributions to the development of the two sides’ cooperative partnership and the preservation of peace and stability in the East Vietnam Sea.