FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Duy Hoang +1 202-596-7951
January 27, 2021
China Threatens the Lives and Livelihood of Vietnamese Fishermen
After years of aggression against Vietnamese fishermen and other countries, the Chinese government has legalized force at sea by passing the Coast Guard Law on January 22, 2021. This law allows the Chinese Coast Guard to use weapons to attack foreign ships in waters that Beijing unlawfully claims.
The law also allows the Chinese Coast Guard to use any means necessary to demolish infrastructure built on reefs and to inspect, capture, and establish temporary no-move zones as needed to prevent ships and foreigners from traveling in certain waters in order to “protect the sovereignty and security of China’s maritime rights.”
The Coast Guard Law makes it clear that Beijing’s intention is to willingly open fire and attack ships and people, despite international law. This law directly threatens the lives and livelihoods of Vietnamese fishermen. The Communist Party of Vietnam is complicit in turning a blind eye to China’s increasing influence in Vietnam’s waters.
In light of this event, Viet Tan asserts and calls for::
- The Chinese authorities to retract the section of the Coast Guard Law that allows the Chinese Coast Guard to shoot at foreign ships. This is an act of crime and aggression, threatening peace in the Asia-Pacific region, and is a direct threat to the lives of Vietnamese fishermen.
- The Communist Party of Vietnam to formally issue a resolution condemning Beijing on the Coast Guard Law during Vietnam’s 13th National Party Congress, and to raise a lawsuit against China to the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration to determine sovereignty of the South China Sea. The Communist Party must also immediately release all Vietnamese citizens who are imprisoned for speaking out against China’s aggression.
- All groups and organizations, inside and outside of Vietnam, to mobilize democratic nations around the world to condemn Beijing’s actions and demand the Chinese authorities retract the law that allows the Chinese Coast Guard to use weapons to attack ships and people.