China survey ship withdrawn from Vietnamese waters – official
HANOI — The Chinese survey ship that encroached upon Vietnam’s continental shelf reportedly since early July has been withdrawn, Vietnam’s authorities have confirmed.
“According to the information we have obtained, on the afternoon of August 7, the Haiyang Di Zhi 08 (Marine Geology 8) survey vessel has halted its geological mission and left Viet Nam’s Exclusive Economic Zone and southeastern continental shelf, which are determined in line with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thị Thu Hang said during the regular press briefings held today in Ha Noi.
However, Vietnamese authorities would still monitor the movement of the survey ship in the South China Sea (called East Sea by Viet Nam), she said.
Regarding the issue, Ha Noi has in recent days on many occasions make known its position and opinions to the Chinese side on different levels and with different forms in line with UNCLOS 1982 and international law, she said.
“Viet Nam demanded that all countries respect the country’s sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction as recognized by international law, and that they must have goodwill and stand ready to engage in dialogues to resolve disagreements, contributing to the maintenance of peace and order in the East Sea, as well as the promotion of friendship and cooperation between countries,” Hang added.
However, the tension in the South China Sea remains palpable as China has reportedly started fresh military drills near Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, to which Vietnam has voiced protests.
The foreign ministry said it has delivered Thursday a diplomatic note opposing China’s illegal action on the islands where Vietnam holds incontestable historical evidence and legal basis over the sovereignty.
Responding to the reported presence of US Navy’s aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in the South China Sea, Hang reiterated Vietnam’s stance on respecting all countries’ rights to the freedom of navigation and overflight in international waters.
”Maintenance of peace and stability and the insurance of maritime and air navigation freedom in the spirit of upholding the rule of law is the common interest of the international community,” she said, adding that Vietnam is expecting other countries to have “practical and responsible contributions to this goal.”
In a related development, China is going to put into use a new high-school history textbook which claims that both Senkaku/Diaoyu islands and the South China Sea have been a part of China since ancient times.
“That China is educating its future generation with information contrary to historical truths and international law is not conducive to the relations between the two countries,” the foreign ministry spokeswoman said.
China’s extensive claims over the majority of the South China Sea, covering both Viet Nam’s Hoang Sa and Troung Sa islands, has been contested by many countries in the region, especially Vietnam.
In 2016, an arbitral tribunal set up under the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration delivered a landmark judgment, ruling that China’s so-called “nine-dash line” has no legal basis under UNCLOS 1982, to which China is a signatory, but China has refused to recognize both the court and the verdict.
Preventing trade fraud
Responding to reporters’ question on the measures that have been adopted to prevent goods with false ‘Made-in-Vietnam’ labels being exported to the US to avoid heavy tariffs, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hang said that Vietnam is committed to combating trade fraud, especially the fraudulent origin of goods, to protect the legitimate rights and benefits of Vietnamese businesses and customers.
The Vietnamese Government has recently approved a project to enhance State management on combating the evasion of trade barriers and counterfeit origins.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade is working on a draft circular providing detailed criteria on what kinds of goods would be classified as made-in-Vietnam products.
Vietnamese authorities are also stepping up cooperation and information exchange with relevant authorities in other countries to prevent and handle trade fraud in import-export activities, Hang said. /kga
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