The Vietnamese community in Thailand released a statement on May 15 denouncing China’s illegal placement of an oil drilling rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

The Vietnamese expatriates are angry that from May 2 China placed the Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig, accompanied by a flotilla of vessels, into Vietnam ’s waters, and deliberately fired water cannons and harassed Vietnamese ships.

The statement made clear that such behaviour defied international law enforcement, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that China itself is a signatory, and brazenly violated Vietnam ’s sovereignty.

The deeds also ran counter to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed between China and the ASEAN members, raised instability and threatened the freedom of navigation in the East Sea.

Not only undermining the neighbourly relations between the two peoples, China’s acts have also gone against the joint statement reached by leaders of both countries as well as agreements enhancing bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.

As a social organisation, the Vietnamese community in Thailand strongly protests and demands that the Chinese authorities immediately stop their illegally provocative acts, withdraw the oil rig, vessels and aircraft out of Vietnam ’s waters, and never repeat the violations in the future.

The community absolutely supports the efforts and policies of the Government and functional agencies in their determination to protect the sovereignty through peaceful means.

They also praised the Vietnam coast guard and fisheries surveillance forces for persistently staying at sea despite the violence and harassment posed by the Chinese side.

They called on the social organisations and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand to raise their voice backing the justice and international law to secure peace in the East Sea and the ASEAN region.

They always advocate the traditional friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and China and vow to do their utmost to defend independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, benefiting the peace, stability and security in the region and the world.-VNA