Vietnamese authorities are working hard to verify information on the reported bribery case involving US firm Bio-Rad Laboratories paying 2.2 million USD to Vietnamese officials to secure health equipment trade deals, Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Spokesperson Pham Thu Hang said.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien sent a letter to the US Deputy Ambassador in Vietnam requesting the US ’ cooperation in clarifying the case, Hang told reporters at a regular press conference in Hanoi on November 6.

The Foreign Ministry is keen to coordinate with authorised agencies in Vietnam and the US if requested, she added.

Regarding Vietnam ’s position on the election in eastern Ukraine , the Deputy Spokesperson said the Ukrainian issue should be settled via peaceful dialogues with respect for basic principles of international law in order to secure peace, stability and development in Ukraine as well as for the interest of the Ukrainian people.

In response to questions on Vietnam ’s stance on Taiwan ’s ongoing illegal survey in Ba Binh island of Vietnam ’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, Hang stressed that Vietnam once again strongly affirms its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa archipelagos.

“Any actions by other parties in these territories, without the permission of Vietnam , are regarded as illegal and void, and will encounter strong protest,” she highlighted.

Responding to queries on the extent of Vietnam ’s construction on its islands, Hang said Vietnam has articulated the country’s viewpoints on the issue numerous times.

“Vietnam has legal and historical evidence proving its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos. All activities conducted by Vietnam in the archipelagos are within the country’s sovereignty and in accordance with international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC)”, she stated.

Regarding Vietnam’s participation in the 22 nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Beijing, China from November 9-11 and the ASEAN Summit in Myanmar on November 12, Hang said the country would make positive contributions to the maintenance of peace, stability, maritime and aviation security and safety in the East Sea on the basis of respecting international law, as well as sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of coastal states.

Speaking of the collaboration between the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Health on Ebola prevention, the Spokesperson said the two ministries would issue updates and guidelines to Vietnamese representative offices abroad, especially in Ebola-affected countries, so they can warn Overseas Vietnamese on how to protect themselves against the deathly disease.-VNA