Opposition to China’s illegal actions mounts

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) on May 14 voiced its strong protest against China’s illegal placement of a drilling rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

The VCCI, the representative for the Vietnamese business community, described the act as an intentional violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty, directly damaging the country’s important political and economic interests as well as maritime security and trade in the region.

The organisation demanded China respect international law and its related commitments, immediately stop illegal activities and withdraw rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 and its vessels from Vietnam’s waters without delay, and absolutely not take similar acts in the Vietnamese waters.

The VCCI called on the Vietnamese business circle to take substantial actions to support Vietnamese concerned forces and fishermen, who are determined to maintain their missions to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and legitimate interests in the East Sea.

It also asked the Chinese business circle and the international business community to raise their voice to urge the Chinese government to act with responsibility to ensure stability, security and normal operations of maritime activities and trade in the region.

On May 2, China stationed the rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude. The location is 80 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and 119 nautical miles from Vietnam’s Ly Son Island.

China has so far deployed a large number of vessels of various kinds to the area, including military, coast guard, marine surveillance, marine patrol and fishing ships. 

Chinese ships repeatedly rammed and fired water cannons at Vietnamese coast guard ships during their law enforcement missions in the country’s waters, damaging many Vietnamese ships and leaving nine fisheries surveillance officers injured.

*** In an announcement released on May 14, the National Committee of the Vietnam Union of Literature and Arts Associations strictly opposed to China’s move and asked Chinese authorities to withdraw its oil rig and accompanying ships and jets from Vietnam’s waters.

It called on writers and other artists along with Chinese people to raise their voice to ask the Chinese Government to respect Vietnam’s sovereignty and territory. It also appealed to Governments, international organisations, artistic circles and the peoples of foreign nations to call on Beijing to abide by international law to build and maintain peace, stability and development in the region.

*** The Peace Committee and the Peace and Development Foundation of Ho Chi Minh City on May 14 strongly raised their voices against China for its illegal positioning an oil rig in Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

The organisations said China’s act seriously violates Vietnam’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the country’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

They further said the act also works against the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, (UNCLOS), high-ranking agreements between Vietnam and China, and the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

Besides, the act has complicated the situation in the East Sea, causing instability in the region and negatively impacting the friendship between Vietnam and China, the organisations added.
VNA/VOV online