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Regular Press Briefing by MOFA’s Spokesperson Nguyen Phuong Nga on June 9th, 2011


REGULAR PRESS CONFERENCE
(Hanoi, June 9th, 2011)

ANNOUNCEMENT

1. Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai pays an official visit to the Union of Myanmar, June 9th – 12th, 2011

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai is paying an official visit to the Union of Myanmar from June 9th to 12th 2011. During the visit, the DPM is expected to meet with the President of Myanmar U Thein Sein and hold talks with Vice President U Tin Aung Myint Oo. The two sides will review the implementation of the bilateral trade and investment cooperation agreement and discuss the orientation for cooperation in the coming time. DPM Hai will attend the Conference on Review of Investment Promotion Activities of Viet Nam in Myanmar in the first year and the Viet Nam - Myanmar Business Forum.

2. Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong to pay an official visit to the Republic of Cuba (June 11th – 14th, 2011)

At the invitation of the Vice President of the Cuban Council of State, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong will pay an official visit to the Republic of Cuba from June 11th to 14th, 2011. DPM Trong and Cuban leaders will discuss measures to enhance the traditional solidarity and friendship between Viet Nam and Cuba as well as the comprehensive cooperation and the special trust of the two countries.
 
3. Governor of Maryland to officially visit Viet Nam

Honorable Martin O’Malley, U.S. Governor of the State of Maryland, is leading a delegation of officials and about 20 businesses from Maryland in a working visit to Viet Nam on June 9th and 10th 2011. The visit aims to further promote the cooperative and friendly relation between Maryland and Viet Nam and broaden cooperation among businesses. The Governor will pay a courtesy call on Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dzung and meet with the Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

In response to question from the media concerning a report that on June 9, a number of Chinese fishing vessels with support of Chinese fishery administration ships hindered operation of Viking II, a seismic vessel chartered by Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietNam), while the Viking II was conducting seismic exploration in Block 136/03, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nguyen Phuong Nga said:

At 6 a.m. June 9, 2011, the Viking II, a vessel hired by Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group, was conducting 3D seismic exploration in Block 136/03 (coordination: 6 degrees 47.5’ North and 109 degrees 17.5’ East) within the continental shelf of Viet Nam when Chinese fishing vessel No 62226, supported by two Chinese Yuzheng fishery administration vessels No 311 and No 303, cut off Viking II, then veered with acceleration. Despite warning flares from the Vietnamese side, vessel 62226 headed on and rammed exploration cables of the Viking II. Its specialized cable slashing device was consequently trapped in the Viking II’s cables, jamming Viking II operation. As soon as that happened, Chinese Yuzheng 311 and 303, together with several Chinese fishing vessels, rushed to rescue Vessel 62226.

The location where Viking II was operating lies within Viet Nam’s 200-nautical mile-continental shelf to which Viet Nam has sovereign rights in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The action by the Chinese fishing and fishery administration vessels was totally intentional, thoroughly deliberated and planned and seriously infringes upon Viet Nam’s sovereign and jurisdiction rights, violates the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), goes against the common perception of senior leaders of the two countries on maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea and inflicts heavy economic damages on Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group.

Notably, this incident came shortly after a Chinese marine surveillance vessel on May 26 cut exploration cables of Viet Nam’s Binh Minh 02 vessel in Block 148 within Viet Nam’s continental shelf, stressing the already tensed situation in the East Sea. These systematic acts by the Chinese side aim at disputing an undisputed area with a goal to materialize its “the nine dotted line” claim, a goal unacceptable to Viet Nam.

Viet Nam vehemently opposes the above-mentioned action by the Chinese side and asks China, from the strategic vision of the China – Viet Nam relationship, to immediately end and refrain from recurrence of actions that violate Viet Nam’s sovereign and jurisdiction rights to its continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, and to compensate for damages incurred by Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group.

On June 9 afternoon, a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam made representation with the Embassy of China in Ha Noi to lodge Viet Nam’s protest against and reiterate its position on China’s action.

 
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