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Vietnam reacts to appearance of nearly 300 Chinese ships in Truong Sa

May 14, 2021 | 09:53

Vietnamese competent agencies always closely follow developments in the East Sea and protect the exercise of national sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction over Vietnam's territorial waters in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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Vietnam reacts to appearance of nearly 300 Chinese ships in Truong Sa
China ships on the South China Sea. (Photo: Maxar)

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang said during a regular press conference of the ministry on May 13 in reply to a reporter's question regarding information that China increased the number of ships operating in the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago to nearly 300 ships.

Vietnamese competent agencies always keep a close watch on developments in the East Sea and protect the exercise of national sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction over Vietnam's territorial waters in accordance with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the official said.

Vietnam has sufficient historical evidence and legal grounds affirming its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes as well as legal rights to its waters as defined in line with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), she reiterated.

She went on to say that as a coastal country and a member of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Vietnam is entitled to enjoy sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction over waters established in accordance with the UNCLOS.

Earlier, the Philippine media cited a source from the South China Sea task force of the country as saying that as of May 9, a total of 287 Chinese ships were present near the Spratly islands, including groups of big ships operating on artificial islands that China has illegally built in this area.

Vietnam reacts to appearance of nearly 300 Chinese ships in Truong Sa
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang. (Photo: VOV)

Also at the briefing, spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang also responded to questions about whether Vietnam intends to change its entry policy in the time ahead.

Amid complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world, the nation has decided to temporarily suspend and restrict the entry of foreigners and overseas Vietnamese in order to largely focus on anti-pandemic measures in the country, she said.

Earlier the country had also suspended entry of foreigners and only allowed entry of investors, technical experts, highly-skilled workers, and business managers on the condition of meeting quarantine and medical requirements.

The Foreign Ministry is closely following and staying updated on the pandemic situation in other nations while coordinating with relevant agencies so as to make appropriate decisions on relaxing or tightening entry of each group of people as a way of ensuring the dual goal of pandemic containment and socio-economic development, Hang said.

Regarding Vietnamese citizens living, studying, and working in India, she said Vietnamese representative offices in India have been closely coordinating with relevant agencies of both nations to provide support to those citizens, adding that a patient in critical condition among the eight Vietnamese COVID-19 patients in New Delhi has recovered.

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