China has just renewed its annual imperial decree of fishing ban in the whole South China Sea (Eastern Sea) that China claims to own 80% of the water. This illegal and imperialistic decree has been violating the sovereignty of Vietnamese territorial water and its EEZ (exclusive economic zone.)
For instance, China forcefully evicted South Vietnamese forces from Paracels in 1974, which has been under Vietnamese jurisdiction and administration since 17th century and Vietnamese fishermen have been fishing for generations. However, China has refused to negotiate the disputed area with Vietnam. Vietnamese fishermen have been harassed, brutalized, stolen, kidnapped and killed by the China Marine Surveillance force since 1999.
Vietnamese government protested the seasonal ban, which runs from May 16 to August 1.“Vietnam opposes this unilateral decision by China and views it as an invalid one,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said in a statement posted online Tuesday.
Earlier, on January 20, spokesperson for the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Luong Thanh Nghi asserted that the fact that China unilaterally banned fishing activities in the East Sea was an act in violation of Vietnamese sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) islands, as well its sovereignty rights and jurisdictional rights over exclusive economic zones and the continental shelf.
With such an act, China has violated the Declaration of Conducts (DOC) and complicated the situation in the East Sea, Nghi said.
“Vietnam has indisputable rights over the Spratly (Truong Sa) and Paracel slands, and has sovereignty and jurisdictional rights over exclusive economic zones and the continental shelf under the 1982 United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea,” he added.
However, Vietnam navy is too weak to dare to send ships to protect its citizens at sea. These men have to make a living for their family and thus risk their lives every time they are at sea. They will defy the illegal ban again at their own perils, but they have no other choice. Therefore, they are at the mercy of the Chinese Navy. The Vietnamese government still has the obligations to protect its citizens by sending its navy ships to protect its territorial water with whatever means at their disposal. Hiding away from the mighty Chinese navy is cowardice and irresponsible to let its citizens to get harmed by Chinese navy.