The state-run China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC)’s operations in Vietnam ’s exclusive economic zone are against the practice of international oil and gas activities, hurting the mutual trust and the motto of cooperation and friendship between Vietnam and China, said the Vietnam Petroleum Association (VPA).

In a statement released on May 9 in Hanoi , the VPA protested CNOOC’s illegal acts in Vietnam ’s exclusive economic zone, underscoring that the move goes against the cooperative spirit between the firm and the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group.

On May 2, CNOOC positioned its drilling rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes east longitude, about 120 nautical miles from Vietnam ’s coast, the statement noted.

The Chinese firm’s operation in the abovementioned location, which belongs to oil and gas Lot 143 within Vietnam ’s 200-nautical-mile-exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, is illegal and contrary to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the association affirmed.

At the same time, the moves seriously violated the sovereign right and jurisdiction as well as the national interest of Vietnam , while complicating the situation and intensifying tensions in the East Sea , it stressed.

The VPA demanded CNOOC stop its actions at once and remove the drilling rig from Vietnam ’s waters. It also asked China to strictly abide by the agreement on the basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues, and respect internal law, the 1982 UNCLOS and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea .

The VPA is always willing to boost the traditional relations and cooperation with China on the basis of respecting each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as international law, contributing to maintaining peace and security in the region, it said.-VNA