Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on September 4 raised voice about the sovereignty protection after Chinese ships have been in Vietnamese for almost two months.
Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the regular cabinet meeting on September 4. Photo: VGP
Vietnam has taken “all actions possible to combat foreign activities that violate our sovereignty” in the South China Sea, PM Phuc said at a regular cabinet meeting, local media reported.
“Our forces have made all efforts to protect the sovereignty under the Party and State’s leadership,” he said without mentioning China.
Chinese survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 and escorts first intruded into Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in early July until August 7 then returned to the Vietnamese waters from August 13.
Earlier during the visit to Hanoi on August 22-24 paid by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Phuc and his Australian counterpart expressed serious concerns about recent developments in the South China Sea, including land reclamation and militarization of disputed features, and long-standing oil and gas projects in the South China Sea.
On August 26-28, PM Phuc and Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad both expressed “serious concern over recent developments in the South China Sea” after Beijing intensified expansionism challenging their energy assets and sea boundaries in the region.
In talks between Mahathir and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc on August 27, Phuc said the two countries would work closely with other Southeast Asian nations to ensure freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, Malaysian media reported.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has three times voiced concerns over the Chinese tough move, calling the activities “serious violations”.
On July 31st, at the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM), Vietnamese Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh denounced illegal activities by a Chinese oil survey vessel and its escorts in Vietnamese territorial waters.
He said China’s activities “seriously violated” Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction under the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).