Vietnamese Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, on Monday accused Beijing of complicating the situation in the disputed South China Sea as he vowed the Hanoi government will never give any territorial concessions.
“The situation in the South China Sea has become increasingly complicated recently,’’ Phuc told nearly 500 deputies during the eighth session of the National Assembly which began on Monday.
“This is due to serious violations of Vietnam’s seas, which break international law and go against the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) and top-level consensus (between Vietnam and China).
“Our party and state have consistently stated that what belongs to our independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
“We will never give in,’’ Phuc said at the meeting, which was broadcast live on Vietnamese television.
Oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea is a highly fraught issue in both China and Vietnam.
The countries which saw a series of violent disputes between 1974 and 1988 over control of the Spratly and Paracel Islands.
In 2014, anti-Chinese sentiment boiled over in Vietnam and sparked deadly attacks against Chinese-owned factories and businesses after a Chinese drilling rig entered the disputed waters.
Most recently, tensions have soared between Beijing and Hanoi as Chinese survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 repeatedly violated Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone while searching for oil and gas reserves.
Vietnam lawmakers are scheduled to pass 13 laws and review nine draft laws, while setting the country’s 2020 GDP target during the month-long National Assembly.