Vietnam calls for respecting national sovereignty, int’l law in East Sea

Friday, 2019-07-05 10:20:23
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Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – Vietnam suggests that all activities in the East Sea should respect sovereignty and legitimate and legal interests of countries and observe international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, contributing to regional peace, security, stability and cooperation.

The statement was made by Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang while answering reporters’ queries on Vietnam’s response to China’s recent missile test in the East Sea on July 4.

She said Vietnam is interested in and keeping a close watch on this incident.

* In response to reporters’ queries about Vietnam’s comments on the International Religious Freedom Report released by US Department of State, Hang stated that Vietnam has consistently pursued the policy of respecting and guaranteeing the right to freedom of citizens to follow or not follow any religion and belief. This is clearly stated in the country’s Constitution, continuously improved in its legal system and policies on belief, and guaranteed and respected in reality, she added.

Hang further explained that up to 95% of the Vietnamese population practise a belief or religion, of which over 24.3 million or 27% of the population are religious followers. Vietnam has 53,000 religious dignitaries and 28,000 worshipping places, she said, adding that there are more than 8,000 religious festivals in the country each year. The country has hosted many major international religious events such as the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017 and the United Nations Day of Vesak for the third time this year, Hang noted.

The US’s report recognised achievements and progress Vietnam has made in ensuring and promoting religious life, Hang said. She stressed that Vietnam and the US have maintained regular information exchanges and worked to intensify mutual understanding about issues of their concern.

However, the report still has some partial evaluations which are based on false information about Vietnam. Vietnam stands ready to cooperate and hold dialogues with the US in the field in order to narrow differences and strengthen mutual understanding, for the sake of people of the two countries, she said.

* In her reply to reporters’ questions about the US considering to impose tariffs on steel products imported from Vietnam, Hang said that the Ministry of Industry and Trade had warned domestic enterprises about investigation agencies of importing countries, including the US, could change regulations and set stricter requirements when conducting trade safeguard investigations.

This aimed to help domestic enterprises build appropriate business strategies, especially to switch to using domestic raw materials or other sources, Hang said.

Vietnam’s agencies will continue to coordinate with the US side to protect legitimate rights and benefits of enterprises in line with legal regulations and agreements of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and prevent illegal evasion and fraudulent acts of origin.