The Vietnam Committee for Asian-African-Latin American Solidarity and Cooperation on May 12 issued a statement protesting China ’s illegal placement of a drilling rig in Vietnam’s waters.

The statement said the Committee is extremely concerned over and resolutely opposes China’s placement of the drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in waters within the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam , together with a large number of ships, including military vessels, and aircraft.

“Such moves by China seriously violate Vietnam’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, and run counter to international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (South China Sea) (DOC) between China and ASEAN,” it said.

They also go against the agreements between senior leaders of Vietnam and China, with the solidarity and cooperation between them having been jointly built by the people and people’s organisations of the two countries over the past years. China’s act has complicated the situation and aggravated tension, threatening the atmosphere of peace, stability and cooperation in the region.

“The Committee proposes that the Chinese side promptly withdraw the rig and all escort forces from Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, and refrain from similar actions in the future,” according to the statement.

It also calls on all peace-loving organisations, forces and people in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the world to urge China to put an end to unilateral moves threatening regional peace, stability and security, and respect international law and Vietnam’s lawful sovereignty.-VNA