The Vietnam Federation of Civil Engineering Associations has issued a statement strongly protesting against China’s violations of Vietnam’s sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction, and requesting the country to withdraw its oil rig from Vietnam’s waters.

The statement said China’s illegal placement of the Haiyang Shiyou-981 rig and a fleet of escort ships in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf goes against the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and China’s own commitments in its relations with ASEAN as well as the agreement between the two countries’ leaders on principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues. China’s acts threaten peace and stability in the region, the statement said.

The federation called on domestic and foreign civil engineers, especially the civil engineer associations of the Asia-Pacific region and China, and the world community to condemn China’s violations of international law and support Vietnam in protecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as international law and peace, stability and maritime safety and freedom in the East Sea and the region.

At the beginning of May 2014, China illegally dispatched the rig as well as a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft to Vietnam’s waters and positioned the rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude, 80 miles deep into Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

Despite Vietnam’s protest, China expanded its scale of operation and moved the rig to 15 degrees 33 minutes 36 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 34 minutes 11 seconds east longitude, 60 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

Ever since the tensions began, Vietnam has exercised the utmost restraint, shown every gesture of goodwill and exhausted all dialogue channels to communicate with Chinese authorities of different levels in order to express protest and demand China immediately withdraw its rig and armed and military vessels out of Vietnam’s waters.

Nevertheless, up to now, China has failed to respond to Vietnam’s legitimate demand. On the contrary, it has been slandering and blaming Vietnam while continuing to escalate the use of force and violations in an increasingly dangerous and serious manner.

By encircling, chasing, ramming and firing water cannons at Vietnamese boats, they have injured many sailors and fishermen, threatening their safety.-VNA