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Vietnam protests Malaysian move in disputed Spratlys

Muzi Lateline News ( 6/28/99] HANOI - A spokesperson for the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry on Monday reiterated the country's claim to sovereignty over the disputed Spratly Islands, describing a recent move by Malaysia in the archipelago as ''a violation of Vietnam's sovereignty.'' Lateline News
''Vietnam possesses adequate historical evidence and legal grounds to prove its sovereignty over the Spratlys,'' the official said in a statement in reply to a question by the state-run Vietnam News Agency about what it described as Malaysia's occupation of shoals in the island group. Lateline News
Malaysia has acknowledged building structures on Investigator Shoal. Lateline News
''Vietnam's stance is to proceed to a fundamental and long-lasting solution to disputes in this area,'' the official said, calling for self-restraint and strict observation of international laws pending such a solution. Lateline News
Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam - all members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - together with China and Taiwan have overlapping claims in the Spratlys.

Vietnam dismissed claims by Chinese archaeologists...

[Lateline News ( 3/26/99] BEIJING - Vietnam on Friday dismissed claims by Chinese archaeologists that their underwater discovery of ancient artifacts near the Paracel Islands proves Chinese sovereignty over the disputed area, Kyodo News reported.

''The discovery of Chinese artifacts in Japan does not prove that Japan belongs to China,'' said Bui Suu Ans, political councilor at the Vietnamese Embassy in Beijing.

Lateline News
''Chinese artifacts have been found in many parts of the world, but that does not mean that the sites where they are found are part of China's territory.''
Lateline News
The state-run China Daily reported Friday that Zhang Wei, head of the underwater archaeology department at the Chinese Museum of Natural History, said the discovery of artifacts near the islands proves Chinese were the islands' earliest inhabitants.
Lateline News
Zhang said divers found 1,500 relics dating from 907 among the wrecks of merchant ships, during a 39-day expedition ending in January to the islands lying between Vietnam and China's Hainan Island, the newspaper reported.
Lateline News
China has claimed sovereignty over the Paracel Islands since it sent military ships to ''liberate'' them in 1974 during the dying stages of the Vietnam War.
Lateline News
On March 9, Vietnam said the Paracel Islands were an indisputable part of its territory, following reports that China was building a military base and runway there.
Lateline News
Chinese President Jiang Zemin and his Vietnamese counterpart Le Kha Phieu agreed to settle territorial disputes ''at an early date'' during Kha Phieu's February visit to China.
Lateline News
China, however, is continuing with efforts to bolster its sovereignty claim by turning the largest of the islands, Yongxing, into a seaside resort, complete with fishing, diving and pleasure boat tours.

Sino-Vietnamese Joint Working Group for Tonkin Gulf Delineation Meets

The Sino-Vietnamese joint working group for delineation of the Bac Bo (Tonkin) Gulf ended its 11th session in Hanoi on January 28.

The two sides were optimistic about the results obtained since their previous session nearly one year ago. During this session, both sides discussed issues relating to the demarcation of the Bac Bo Gulf. They agreed to accelerate negotiations to achieve the target set by leaders of the two countries for reaching an agreement on the Bac Bo Gulf delineation before the end of 2000.

The two sides agreed to hold their 12th meeting in Beijing in the second quarter of 1999.(VNA)


Ha Noi, Jan. 27 (VNA) -- It was a festive day for soldiers and officers on Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago when they were plugged into solar energy as an alternative power supply last year.

A group of 15 solar energy researchers working with the National Centre for Natural Sciences and Technology in Ho Chi Minh City shared the joy.

It was impossible to fit solarlabs right in Truong Sa. Scientific workers had to carry equipment and material to Cam Ranh Bay where they fitted the labs. After trial operation, the solarlabs were transported to Truong Sa. Many people, however, did not believe the project would work until it actually did. The success of solarlabs in the archipelago confounded sceptics of this newly-introduced technology.

Electricity from solarlabs serve soldiers on Truong Sa in their daily life and machinery maintenance service as well.

Solar energy improves living conditions of inhabitants in remote, isolated and island areas which are not yet linked to the national electricity grid.

Associate Doctor Le Hoang To, head of the group of solar energy researchers, was presented with the '98 Kovalevskaia Award, an annual recognition of outstanding female scientists in Viet Nam.

She and her group have installed hundreds of solarlabs in 40 provinces and cities and three islands.--VNA

Mon., Jan. 25, 1999 at: Lon 2:57 p.m. Pra 3:57 p.m. NY 9:57 a.m. HK 9:57 p.m.

Sino-Vietnam Border Negotiations Yield Limited Results