The Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) on May 17 raised its voice to oppose China’s illegal placement of a drilling rig in Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone in the East Sea, stressing that the act seriously violates Vietnam’s sea and island sovereignty.

A statement issued by the VAVA read that from May 2 China illicitly stationed the Haiyang Shiyou-981 drilling rig, accompanied by a fleet of vessels, including armed and military ones, in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.

The Chinese ships rammed and deliberately fired water cannons at Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance and Coast Guard ships, leaving many Vietnamese ships damaged and fisheries surveillance officers injured.

The association said it absolutely concurs with the Party and State’s viewpoint of dealing with the disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, and strongly backs the Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance and Coast Guard forces to continue protecting the nation’s sacred sovereignty.

As war victims, over three million Vietnamese AO victims clearly understand the value of peace and desire to coexist peacefully with other people around the world, including the Chinese, said VAVA Chairman Nguyen Van Rinh.

The association called on war victims, people, organisations and peace-loving forces all over the world to further support Vietnam’s battle to protect peace and justice.-VNA