PANO – The Vietnam Marine Police Force will be strengthened to ensure security, order and safety in the territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone of Vietnam.
This was stated by Lieutenant-General Pham Duc Linh, General Director of the Vietnam Marine Police Force, at an interview with the press on July 7th on the sideline of the meeting to prepare for the 7th Meeting of Heads of Asia Coast Guard Agencies (HACGAM) to be held in Hanoi.
Following are excerpts from the interview.
Reporter: What measures does the Vietnam Marine Police Force take to protect Vietnamese fishermen when they are in trouble while legally operating within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zones?
Lieutenant-General Linh: We have dispatched more Marine Police Force to the sea especially in overlapping areas between Vietnam and foreign countries. Local fishermen will be better protected and assisted if necessary. We also remind local fishermen not to cross into the waters of foreign countries.
Reporter: What does the Vietnam Marine Police Force do to ensure the security and safety for the oil and gas exploration of Vietnam?
Lieutenant-General Linh: The Vietnam Marine Police Force is responsible in cooperating with functional agencies to do the mission. If any incident happens at sea, we have responsibility to inform to the functional agencies and coordinate with them to settle the issue.
Reporter: What difficulties does the Vietnam Marine Police Force face while doing the duty to maintain the security and order in the territorial waters of Vietnam?
Lieutenant-General Linh: With the long coastline and extensive sovereign waters, the Vietnam Marine Police Force cannot maintain regular presence in all waters, especially at high sea. Furthermore, our equipment cannot operate in bad weather even at wind at level 9 or 10 and stay long at sea. The Government has already planned to invest in upgrading facilities for the marine police force and a development project to build a complete model for the marine police is under construction. Accordingly, the Vietnam Marine Police Force will be equipped with modern vehicles.
Reporter: Could you be more specific?
Lieutenant-General Linh: First of all the Vietnam Marine Police Force will be equipped with helicopters, more modern ships that can operate at the high sea in bad weather conditions and for a long time. Modern ships will be equipped to launch rescuing activities to provide first aids to more than 100 people. Capacity building for the staff is also among the priorities.
In early 2012, the Vietnam Marine Police Force will be equipped with a large ship, which can operate during 40 days in bad weather.
Reporter: Could you tell us about the coordination and international cooperation between the Vietnam Marine Police Force and other countries?
Lieutenant-General Linh: We have asked the Government for the establishment of a hot line between the Vietnam Marine Police Force and its Chinese counterpart. Firstly, the hot line will connect with some Chinese related provinces so that the two sides could inform each other of incidental problems at sea and join efforts to create favorable conditions for fishermen.
Reporter: Thank you very much!
The Working -Level Meeting of the 7th Heads of Asia Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM) drew the participation of many delegates from Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, The Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Hong Kong (China) and Vietnam.
Translated by Duy Minh