Vietnam govt asks for restraint over Spratly debate

By LALA RIMANDO, | 02/07/2009 12:26 PM

HANOI, Vietnam — Government officials on Friday asked the members of its Communist party to restrain from “doing anything that might complicate the situation” in the multi-country debate over the Spratly islands after the Philippine’s House of Representatives recently approved a baselines bill.

The bill (House Bill 3216) stipulates that the Philippine’s new archipelagic baseline boundary includes several islands that lie within the Spratly archipelago and the Scarborough Shoal. Vietnam is one of the countries claiming these resource-rich islands.

A February 6 article on Thanhnien Daily, one of Vietnam’s few English publications, mentioned Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Le Dung who was asked to comment during a press conference Friday, about Vietnam’s reactions.

The article quoted Dung as saying, “In our opinion, while seeking basic and long-term solutions to disputes regarding to the Paracel and Spratley archipelagos, the relevant parties should observe the United Nation’s 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties on the South China Sea, and not to act to complicate the situation in order to maintain peace and stability in the region.”

In January, the Philippine senate ratified Senate Bill 2699 that did not include the contested islands named in the House Bill 3216.

The article cites that it is the Philippine government that has “approved” the new outline.

Vietnam is a single-party Communist state.

as of 02/07/2009 12:53 PM


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