New President calls for mass power to protect sea sovereignty

Vietnam needs mass power and international power to protect its sovereignty over the East Sea and should stop underestimating corruption to prevent it, the new President Truong Tan Sang told news agencies Monday.

Part of Vietnam's Truong Sa (Spartly) Islands. New President Truong Tan Sang says the country's sovereignty over the East Sea cannot be violated

The islands and sea sovereignty of any country is “holy and cannot be violated” and “any citizen of any country is aware of that,” Mr. Sang said.

To protect its sea and islands sovereignty, he said Vietnam needs to rely on three important foundation: laws, both national and international, history and the use of the sea and islands in reality.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea issued in 1982 raises the permitted territorial waters from three to 12 nautical miles. The exclusive economic zone is raised to 200 sea miles and the continental shelf to 350 sea miles.

Mr. Sang called it the result of a long fight of many small-sized countries.

He said learge and small countries have different positions.

“We are a small-sized country, so we have to rely on the power of the mass, of the community, of the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention to protect our sea and islands sovereignty and exclusive economic zone.

“That should be the definitive opinion,” Sang said.

Several deputies during the first session of the ongoing 13th National Assembly have suggested the assembly to issue a resolution on the East Sea.

President Sang, who mentioned the East Sea issue in his inauguration speech, said that the government will report to the assembly on the East Sea situation and the assembly will decide, upon its authority, to issue the resolution or not.

The matter depends on the international situations and the opinions of the NA deputies, he said.

“I cannot and should not say what need to be done by myself.”

President Truong Tan Sang said the subject of the matter is the assembly, not the President.

But he said when it comes to the discussion over the East Sea, “I will express my attitudes.”

The new president also said that during the recent national election for new National Assembly deputies, many residents showed unsatisfactory about the way corruption has been damaging their daily lives.

The government and the Party is always to fight corruption and the government has laws and the Party had an anti-corruption resolution, he affirmed.

“The matter now is to act,” he added.

President Sang said the Party and the government “should play a very important role” in leading and directing the country in corruption fight.

As many NA deputies have promised to fight corruption by any means, the president said he hopes the deputies won’t underestimate the problem.

He said the corruption fight so far have not gained the results set by the Party and the National Assembly, pointing out that corruption acts have not been prevented.

Officials in the anti-corruption campaigns need to work harder and the campaign policies, organization need to be checked again to see if they contain any loopholes.

He said the residents have the responsibility to supervise NA members and the government, including himself, to make the corruption fight at least gain better results than previous terms of the government.

By Phan Thao – Translated by Cao Minh

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