|Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Dung|
Vietnam protests against China’s decision to allow Hainan’s Zhou Jiang International Tourism Co. Ltd to open a tour to Phu Lam Island in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago, Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Dung said.
He stressed, “This action seriously infringes upon Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty and is unbeneficial to bilateral negotiation to seek a fundamental and durable solution to the sea issues.”
The spokesman made the remarks on March 12 in reply to a correspondent’s query on Vietnam’s reaction over the Chinese tourism company’s announcement to open a tour to Phu Lam Island.
Vietnam has a clearly defined stance over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes and the country has sufficient historical and legal grounds to prove its sovereign rights over the two archipelagoes, spokesman Le Dung said.
He affirmed, “Vietnam consistently maintains that all disputes should be resolved through peaceful negotiations on the basis of respect for international laws and international practice, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 2002 Declaration on the Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, as well as agreements mutually reached by Vietnamese and Chinese leaders.”
The same day, spokesman Le Dung also voiced disagreement with Philippine President Gloria Arroyo’s signing for promulgation on March 10 a new baseline law which puts Vietnam’s Truong Sa archipelago islands under the Philippines’ sovereignty.
The spokesman said, “This act seriously infringes upon Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Truong Sa archipelago and complicates the situation, going against the spirit of the Declaration on the Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea as well as the regional cooperation trend.”
“Vietnam protests against the act and calls on the Philippines to refrain from undertaking similar actions so as not to affect peace and stability in the region and the growing ties between the two countries,” Dung noted.
The Vietnamese spokesman stated that any activities in the disputed area taken by concerned parties without Vietnam’s consent will be viewed as violations of Vietnam’s sovereign rights and are legally invalid.