The Vietnam Fund for Peace and Development (VFPD) under the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisation has demanded China to immediately remove its oil rig and vessels from Vietnam’s waters and pursue negotiations to settle the issue.

In a declaration released on May 11, the VFPD said it resolutely protests China’s illegal action and demanded that it does not repeat these acts in the future.

On May 2, China positioned the HD-981 rig for oil exploratory drilling in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, and deployed a fleet of military vessels and aircraft to operate and overwhelm the Vietnamese coast guard and fishery surveillance forces.

The statement claimed that the unilateral act of China is illegal and against international laws and practices. The move also seriously violates Vietnam ’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago as well as sovereign right and jurisdiction over the country’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

This action runs counter to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) agreed between China and ASEAN, complicating the situation, resulting in regional instability, and critically infringing the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

It also goes against the agreements reached by the two countries’ high-level leaders and negatively affects the bilateral political trust and cooperation. Not only hurting the Vietnamese, the act also raises concerns in the region and the world over the peace and stability.

Sovereignty and territorial integrity are supreme for every nation, and require respect from others, the statement said.

The VFPD supports the Vietnamese Government’s policy and efforts in defending the legal sovereignty through peaceful measures and persistently promoting negotiations on the basis of international laws, especially the UNCLOS, DOC and agreements between the two leaders.

It also called on people around the world to raise their voice and ask China to respect international laws and Vietnam ’s legal sovereignty as well as end unilateral acts threatening regional peace, stability and security.

Vietnam and China have a long-standing relationship, which Vietnamese people value and hope to maintain. However, China is expected to show responsibility and make practical contributions to easing the current tension, the association said.-VNA