VN asserts sea and island sovereignty
11:16 | 09/06/2011

VGP - Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng has confirmed Việt Nam’s sovereignty over the Trường Sa (Spratly)   and Hoàng Sa (Paracel) archipelagoes.

Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng

PM Dũng was speaking at a national meeting to mark World Ocean Day, themed "Youth: The Next Wave for Change", in Nha Trang city on June 8.

The meeting was also part of Việt Nam Sea and Island Week 2011, which is themed “Green Brainpower for Sustainable Development of Việt Nam's Sea and Islands”.

With its 3,260-km coastline and thousand of islands, huge exclusive economic zones and continental shelf, Việt Nam has great potential for developing its marine-based economy. Over the past decades, the marine-based economy has contributed 48 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

However, Việt Nam is facing serious challenges to the protection of its sea and islands, such as a reduction of marine resources, biodiversity, and sea pollution.

PM Dũng said Việt Nam is making all-out efforts to become a powerful nation by 2020 with its marine-based economy accounting for 53-55% of GDP and 55-60% of export earnings.

To ensure the effective implementation of the Việt Nam Sea Strategy until 2020, the government leader emphasized the need to complete a legal mechanism related to the sea, islands, management of natural resources and sea environment.

It is necessary to combine socioeconomic development with ensuring national security and defense, international cooperation and environment protection, he said.

The PM also asked related agencies to mobilize different economic sectors and international resources to effectively exploit the marine resources, implement synchronous measures to protect Vietnamese fishermen operating legally in the country’s sea and island areas, promote scientific research work on the management and development of marine-based economy, effectively deal with climate change and rising sea levels, tighten ties with other countries in the region and the world and international organizations keen to address issues related to the sea and islands on the basis of national sovereignty and interests and in compliance to international laws.

Related ministries, agencies and socio-political organizations should promote communication work to raise awareness of the need to protect the country’s sea and island sovereignty and sea environment, the Government chief said.

The PM once again confirmed Việt Nam's sovereignty over the Trường Sa and Hoàng Sa archipelagoes, its exclusive economic zones, and continental shelf in compliance to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).

He called for joint efforts to safeguard the country’s territorial waters and islands by peaceful means and in accordance with international laws.

The Vietnamese state and people strongly protest and struggle against violations of their sea sovereignty and benefits, PM Dũng said.

He also asked concerned parties to restrain themselves from any acts that would complicate the situation in the East Sea and strictly abide by their commitments to settling problems through peaceful negotiations on the basis of international laws, UNCLOS 1982, and five principles of peaceful coexistence in order to promote mutual trust and multilateral cooperation on marine safety.

All concerned parties should strictly conform to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DoC) signed by ASEAN and China in 2002 and work together to build a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (CoC) to turn the East Sea into a sea of peace, stability, friendship, and development for the benefit of all countries and for regional and global security, he said.

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