Vietnam has lodged an official complaint with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing vessel near the former’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang said on April 3.
The Vietnamese vessel, number QNg 90617 TS, with eight fishermen on board, was fishing near Phu Lam island on April 2 when a China coast guard ship hit and sank it.
|Vietnamese fishing boats - Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
Hang said a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had a meeting with a representative of the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi and presented the protest diplomatic note, asking the Chinese side to investigate and clarify and strictly handle civil servants and the Chinese vessel mentioned above, not to repeat similar actions and at the same time adequately compensate for the losses of Vietnamese fishermen.
Vietnam has sufficient legal grounds and historical evidence affirming its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes in accordance with international law, she said.
Such an act by the China coast guard ship violates Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Paracel islands, causing damage, threatening the safety of life and the legitimate interests of Vietnamese fishermen.
It also went against the common perception of senior leaders of the two countries on the humane treatment of fishermen and the Vietnam-China agreement on the basic principles guiding the settlement of maritime issues, and in contrary to the spirit of the Declaration of Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC), which complicates the situation and is not conducive to the bilateral relations as well as the maintenance of peace, stability and cooperation in the East Sea.
According to information from the Vietnamese authorities, on April 3, 2020, eight Vietnamese fishermen aboard the QNg 90617 TS were safely rescued./.