A group of foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) expressed their deep concern about China’s illegal installation of a drilling rig in Vietnam’s waters, during a press conference in Hanoi on May 13.

The event was organised by the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) to discuss the recent developments in the East Sea.

Experts highlighted the historical and legal aspects of the issue, stating that China has strongly violated Vietnam’s sovereign right and jurisdiction over its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

The move also runs counter to international law, specifically the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and the agreements reached by leaders of the two sides.

As well as hurting the Vietnamese people and raising concerns among both the regional and international community, the infringement has negatively affected the bilateral political trust and cooperation between the two countries and threatened peace and stability in the region and the world.

The NGOs therefore called on all parties concerned to persistently promote negotiations on the grounds of respecting the international law.

Additionally, they asked the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to take measures to support an end to the dispute in the East Sea as soon as possible.

The organisations agreed that China’s withdrawal of its rig and other vessels out of Vietnam’s waters would help sustain regional and global peace and stability alike.-VNA