Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Le Hai Binh (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam has asked China not to conduct oil drilling and promptly pull its Haiyang Shiyou 981 drilling rig out of the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin, Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Le Hai Binh said on January 19.

In response to reporters’ queries about the operation of the Haiyang Shiyou 981 rig and Vietnam’s reaction, Binh said in the evening of January 16, 2016, the Haiyang Shiyou 981 moved to a position around 21.4 nautical miles to the east from the suggested equidistant boundary line between the two base lines of Vietnam and China.

On January 18, a representative from the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry met a counterpart from the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi to raise Vietnam’s concern over China’s above-mentioned action, saying that it happened in the overlapping area between the continental shelves of Vietnam’s central region and China’s Hainan island which is yet to be delineated.

Vietnam reserves its legitimate rights and interests in the area in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and related international realties, he stated.-VNA