Vietnam responds to UK and New Zealand battleships entering East Sea

8/10/2021| 17:10

The nation’s consistent policy is that all maritime cooperation activities of countries need to comply with the provisions stipulated in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

New Zealand's HMNZS Te Kaha frigate (Photo: New Zealand Defence Force)

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang made the statement during a virtual press conference of the ministry on October 3, while responding to reporters’ question about New Zealand's HMNZS Te Kaha frigate joining the UK Carrier Strike Group on a voyage to the South China Sea, known as the East Sea in Vietnam, to engage in a large-scale international defence exercise.

Countries need to make responsible contributions for common interests, in line with their aspirations on the rule of law, especially the UNCLOS 1982, while maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and cooperation in the East Sea, Hang said.

Earlier, on October 6, the New Zeland Defense Force (NZDF) released a statement saying that Royal New Zealand Navy frigate HMNZS Te Kaha is joining military partners as it transits the South China Sea en route to a major international defence exercise.

Te Kaha will accompany the UK aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for about a week in the South China Sea, before participating in exercise Bersama Gold 21 off the coast of Singapore from October 8 to October 16.

Bersama Gold 21 marks the 50th anniversary of the Defence Agreement between five countries, including Australia, the UK, Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand.

Also at the press briefing, in reply to a reporter's question asking for information about the upcoming ASEAN Summit, spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said, the ASEAN Summit and related meetings are scheduled to take place via an online format from October 26-28.

Currently, preparations for the meetings are being intensified, with an array of ministers and senior officials' meetings being held.

All issues related to the meetings are discussed and decided by ASEAN on the basis of the ASEAN Charter, in accordance with the regional bloc's processes and procedures, she added.