Vietnam has indisputable sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi on Feb. 29.

The comment was made in response to the media’s queries about Vietnam ’s reaction to an incident on Feb 22 when China used force to threaten 11 fishermen on a vessel from Quang Ngai province, preventing them from entering the Hoang Sa Archipelago to avoid strong wind.

The Chinese force is also reported to have assaulted the fisherman and to have tried to take their property.

“Vietnamese fishermen have moved freely in the territorial waters surrounding those two archipelagos for generations. They behaved in accordance with international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982,” Nghi said.

“The above-mentioned action of China has seriously infringed upon the sovereignty and sovereign and jurisdiction rights of Vietnam. It ran counter to the spirit of humanitarianism, gravely threatened the lives of Vietnamese fishermen and caused serious property losses to them,” he said.

The spokesman also said that China’s act did not correspond with the friendly relations between two countries and went against the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

“A representative from the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry has met with representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi to oppose the action of China, and ask China to refrain from similar wrongful actions and request compensation for the Vietnamese fishermen.” Nghi said.-VNA