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Remarks by MOFA's Spokeperson Le Hai Binh during the 10th Regular Press Conference in September 23rd 2016

Q: Japan’s Defense Minister recently said Japan will step up its activities in the South China Sea through joint training patrols with the United States. What is Viet Nam’s reaction to this information?

A: Viet Nam’s consistent policy is that all activities by parties must actively contribute to maintaining peace, stability and cooperation in the East Sea which is a crucial shipping lane of the region and the world. Therefore, countries inside and outside the region share common interests and responsibilities in maintaining the regional peace and stability.

Q: Taiwan is said to have been constructing some structures in Ba Binh (Itu Aba) in the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands and those structures are supposed to be for military purposes.  Are you able to verify this information and what is your reaction to this?

A: We are keeping close watch on the information you just mentioned. The Vietnamese competent agencies are verifying this.

Viet Nam in many occasions has affirmed that we have sovereignty over Truong Sa Archipelago. Taiwan’s occupation and operations in this area are absolutely illegal and violate our sovereignty and we resolutely protested.

Q: Please provide Viet Nam’s comment on the recent joint drill between China and Russia in the East Sea?

A: Viet Nam, as a coastal state and a party to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), believes that all activities in the East Sea, including military activities, shall abide by international law, especially the UNCLOS.

It is our hope that all countries proactively contribute to maintaining peace and stability, and ensuring security and safety of navigation and overflight in the East Sea as well as the Asia Pacific region.

Q: Please provide Viet Nam’s reaction to a statement made by President Putin in China that Russia does not recognize the ruling of the Tribunal in the arbitration concerning East Sea issues?

A: Viet Nam has on many occasions reaffirmed its consistent policy of settling disputes by peaceful means, including diplomatic and legal processes, in compliance with international law and the UNCLOS, and in respect for the rule of law in the oceans and seas.

Q: A Japanese magazine lately reported that Vietnamese living in Cambodia has become targets of attack and discrimination. Could you please brief on the situation of the Vietnamese community in Cambodia?

A: Our state and government always care about life of our fellow Vietnamese overseas and facilitate them to settle their life and business abroad. This is our consistent policy.

As for those living in Cambodia, our competent authorities have been working closely with their Cambodian counterparts to make sure that their life and business be smooth and easy. We always want that the Cambodian authorities and localities pay due attention and create favorable conditions for the the Vietnamese living in Cambodia, to ensure their legitimate rights and interests and to help them have stable life and business.

Q: Foreign news agencies quoted the Vietnamese government sources as saying the ratification of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement (TTP) would not be on the agenda of the upcoming National Assembly session. Could you please confirm this information and further elaborate on this?

A: Viet Nam has set high priority for pushing fast the process of building legal institutions and is making great efforts to accomplish the roadmap for amending, supplementing and making legal documents to ensure our commitments in TPP be fully and effectively implemented.

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