Monday, 19 Aug 2019
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NEWSDEFEND THE SOVEREIGNTY

China's survey ship withdraws from Vietnamese waters

Updated at Thursday, 08 Aug 2019, 16:15
The Hanoitimes - Ship tracking data shows that China’s survey ship has exited the Vietnamese EEZ for now.
“Chinese survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 and escorts have withdrawn from Vietnam's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf”, Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang has said. 
 
Le Thi Thu Hang, spokeswoman of Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Zing
Le Thi Thu Hang, spokeswoman of Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Zing
“Vietnam is determined and persistent to protect its sovereignty and jurisdiction as established in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982 through peaceful means based on international law,” Zing quoted Hang as saying Thursday. 

“Vietnam has conducted many appropriate communication channels with the Chinese side, including diplomatic notes, demanding immediate withdrawal (of the vessels) from the country’s EEZ,” Hang said, adding that Vietnamese authorities are keeping an eye on the move. 

On Wednesday [August 7], US think tank Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS) reported that a Chinese survey ship which illegally conducted survey within Vietnamese EEZ for a month has headed away from Vietnam’s waters.

 
Chinese survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8. Photo: SCMP
Chinese survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8. Photo: SCMP
“Ship tracking data show that China’s survey ship has exited the Vietnamese EEZ for now, but at least two of its coast guard escorts remain in the area of the survey,” Devin Thorne, senior analyst at C4ADS told Reuters, citing data from maritime analytics company Windward.

“Vietnamese ships pursued Haiyang Dizhi 8 as it returned to Fiery Cross Reef and now appear to be loitering just outside of Vietnam’s EEZ,” Thorne said.

 
Chinese survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 within Vietnam's waters in the South China Sea. Photo:
Chinese survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 within Vietnam's waters in the South China Sea. Photo: Rdmartison88
He added that it was not clear if China’s Haiyang Dizhi 8 survey vessel planned to return to Vietnam’s waters.

The withdrawal of Chinese survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 ended a month-long illegal deployment within Vietnamese EEZ despite Hanoi’s protest and international criticism.

The survey ship, operated by the China Geological Survey, has been conducting seismic survey of Vietnam’s offshore oil blocks, according to the Windward data.

Chinese activities have sparked protest from Vietnam. The US, meanwhile, immediately voiced against Beijing's “coercion” and called it to stop bullying other countries. 

Hanoi demanded Beijing to immediately withdraw the ships. Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at ASEAN meetings earlier this month said Chinese activities were “illegal” and “seriously violate” Vietnamese waters.  

Last week, a Vietnamese fishermen group urged the government to take stronger measures to remove the ships which were disrupting their fishing activities.

Beijing’s top diplomat Wang Yi said last week that maritime problems involving Vietnam should not interfere with two-way ties.
Linh Pham
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