General: Consistent to solve the East Sea issues peacefully
QĐND - Monday, June 06, 2011
PANO – With the recent developments in the East Sea, the Vietnamese
delegation to the 10th Shangri-La Dialogue got much attention from
international media. On the sidelines of the dialogue, Lieutenant-General
Nguyen Chi Vinh, Vietnamese Deputy-Minister of National Defence,
answered the questions from the media.
- Will Vietnam continue its oil exploration activities in the disputed
sea areas? What measures will the Vietnam People’s Army take to
protect these activities?
Lt. Gen.: Nguyen Chi Vinh: I confirm that Vietnam
does not carry out these activities in the disputed sea areas. The
exploration activities are within Vietnam’s sovereignty. For example,
the case of Binh Minh 02 vessel, right after the incident took place,
the vessel overcame the problems and continued its exploration activities.
Vietnamese People’s Naval Forces is in charge of protecting the
sky and sea of Vietnam. However, those tasks that relate to civilian
responsibilities will be dealt by legal authorities.
- Does Vietnam plan to increase the presence of Naval
forces in the recent tension areas?
Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh: The increase of Vietnamese
Naval forces takes place as a previously scheduled plan. However,
we hold that the issue is not serious enough to deploy a surge of
naval forces. We are consistent and believe in solving the issue
peacefully, in which the voices of the international media and community
are very important.
- Do you think that the ADMM-Plus members that do
not have sovereignty disputes or direct relations to the East Sea
issues can help reduce the tension and solve the East Sea issues?
Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh: I think that multilateral
forums are very important. They show the attitudes of the world
to the behaviours of each country.
- I learnt that a group of Vietnamese origin in California,
U.S.A, mobilises to change the name the East Sea, or the South China
Sea, into Southeast Asia Sea. Is that a desire of the entire Vietnamese
Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh: For the same sea, the Chinese
calls it South China Sea, we call it the East Sea. It is just a
name. For the proposal from a group of Vietnamese origin, I think
that it stems from the patriotism, a big issue but not the desire
of the entire of Vietnamese people. Vietnam has only one desire
that is any sea that belongs to Vietnam by the international law,
must be recognised as under Vietnam’s sovereignty.
- U.S Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates, declared
to increase their presence in Asia. One of the steps to increase
is to send more ships to Singaporean sea areas. Does Vietnam welcome
Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh: The U.S increases its presence
in Asia or sends more vessels to Singapore is for its interests.
If that presence brings about peace, stability and development in
the region, bringing about equality and mutual respect among countries,
Vietnam welcomes it.
- Vietnamese government recently declared to open
Cam Ranh Port for the world. Does it mean that it will allow the
U.S., Russian and other countries’ vessels to dock at the port?
Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh: About the Cam Ranh Port,
we declared not to let any country set its military base or station
its military vessels there. A part of the Cam Ranh Bay will be for
Vietnamese Naval Forces. Another part will be built into a service,
technical and logistic area for civilian and military ships. Until
that time, this area will receive vessels from all countries to
be repaired and serviced in accordance to Vietnamese and international
- The Declaration on Conduct of the Parties in the
East Sea (DOC) in 2002 has been implemented for nine years. However,
it has not yet got the consensus to make an instruction document
to implement its articles. Meanwhile, we are trying to make DOC
a Code of Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (COC) to increase
its legal foundation. Do you think that this move is practical in
Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh: ASEAN member states agreed
that the COC is very necessary. The recent ASEAN Summit and ASEAN
Defence Ministers’ Meeting reached an agreement to discuss it with
China and soon reach the COC.
Translated by Ngoc Hung