Vietnam rejects false Chinese media report of armed fishing boats

By Viet Anh   January 20, 2022 | 05:42 am PT
Vietnam rejects false Chinese media report of armed fishing boats
Vietnam’s fishing boats at a port in Da Nang, September 2021. Photo by VnExpress/ Nguyen Dong
Vietnam has flatly denied a China Daily report about suspicions that it was arming fishing vessels, asserting consistent adherence to international law in pursuing its policy of peace and self defense.

"That information is incorrect, Vietnam completely refutes it," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at a press meet Thursday.

She was responding to a question about a China Daily article about "Vietnam's militia-armed fishing boats" in the South China Sea.

The article's author said that China suspects Vietnam has equipped fishing vessels with arms; and that Beijing is concerned that this would further complicate disputes and safety of navigation in the South China Sea.

Vietnam refers to the South China Sea as the East Sea.

Hang said Vietnam consistently follows a defense policy of peace and self-defense. All activities undertaken by Vietnam's authorities completely adhere to domestic and international law, especially The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), she said.

The foreign ministry spokeswoman also stressed that Vietnam makes every effort to contribute to maintaining peace, stability, security, safety, cooperation and development in the South China Sea, in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS.

"We call countries inside and outside the region to provide substantive and responsible contribution to these common goals," Hang said.

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