Vietnam opposes China's unilateral fishing ban that starts from May 1

Vietnam rejects China's ban on fishing beginning May 1, 2021 in waters that include part of the Gulf of Tonkin and Vietnam's Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago in the Bien Dong Sea (internationally called South China Sea).
April 30, 2021 | 07:59
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Vietnam opposes China's unilateral fishing ban that starts from May 1
Deputy Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Doan Khac Viet. Source: VOV

Deputy Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Doan Khac Viet just declared Vietnam’s viewpoints on several issues related to the Bien Dong Sea at the ministry’s regular press conference on April 29, reported VNA.

Viet made the statement while answering reporters’ query regarding the report that the Chinese coast guard force declared it will guarantee the enforcement of the fishing ban that will take effect on May 1, 2021, on the sea area covering part of the Gulf of Tonkin and Vietnam's Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago.

The China Coast Guard. as well as the agricultural and police authorities will step up maritime patrols to strengthen scrutiny over fishing boats and key waters, said a statement on April 27.

The authorities plan to make better use of monitoring technologies in the process, the statement added.

The enforcement actions will last through September 16, according to the China Coast Guard.

Beijing says the fishing ban annually is part of efforts to protect marine fishery resources, Xinhua reported.

Vietnam has sufficient legal ground and historical evidence testifying to its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos, as well as its legal rights towards sea areas identified in line with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), said Viet.

Vietnam holds that measures to preserve creature resources need to be implemented in conformity with regulations of the 1982 UNCLOS and must not harm the sovereign right and jurisdiction at sea of other related states, Viet noted.

He elaborated that this unilateral decision by the Chinese side has violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa archipelago as well as the country’s legitimate rights and interests in its sea areas; infringed international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS; run counter to the spirit and wording of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the Bien Dong Sea (DOC); and gone against the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues between Vietnam and China.

Regarding the information that the Vietnamese maritime militia force operating near Hainan archipelago and Vietnam’s Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos has threatened the maritime law enforcement and security - defence forces of China, the deputy spokesman noted, “We refutes those incorrect information about the marine self-defence militia force of Vietnam.”

He highlighted the country’s defence policy of peace, self-defence and basing on the people, citing the 2019 law on militia and self-defence forces which stipulates that the marine self-defence militia force is part of Vietnam’s self-defence militia force and has the tasks of safeguarding the country’s maritime sovereignty and maintaining security, order, and safety on seas and islands.

The marine self-defence militias and other authorised forces working at sea absolutely comply with Vietnamese laws and international law, especially the 1982 UNCLOS, Viet emphasised.

He again declared that any act harming Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos, as well as the country’s sovereignty, sovereign right, and jurisdiction over its sea areas is valueless and not recognised, and Vietnam resolutely objects to such acts.

Vietnam opposes China's unilateral fishing ban that starts from May 1
Ships of Vietnam Coast Guard and China Coast Guard patrolling at sea. Photo: VNA

Earlier, on April 28, the patrol forces of the Vietnam Coast Guard and the China Coast Guard have finished their first joint patrol on the waters adjacent to the demarcation line in the Tonkin Gulf between the two countries in 2021.

The joint patrol has contributed to promoting the fine relationship between the two Parties, States and peoples in general and between the two coast guard forces in particular.

The two sides patrolled through 13 points in the demarcation line in the Tonkin Gulf. They conducted phone discussions, and checked and monitored one fishing vessel of China and three of Vietnam, and stepped up disseminations on regulations related to fishing and COVID-19 prevention and control./.

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