The National Committee of the Vietnam Union of Literature and Arts Associations on May 14 protested China’s illegal placement of an oil rig in Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

The committee said in an announcement that it strictly opposed to the act taken by China and asked Chinese authorities to withdraw its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou- 981 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.

At the same time, the committee affirmed its wish to promote the traditional friendship between the people as well as the artistic circles of Vietnam and China.

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 inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.

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

Chinese ships have repeatedly rammed and fired water cannons into Vietnamese coast guard ships which are carrying out their law enforcement missions in the country’s waters, leaving many Vietnamese ships damaged and nine fisheries surveillance officers injured.-VNA