Chairman of the Finnish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Timo Juhani Soini has called on the parties involved in the tension in the East Sea to restrain themselves and seek peaceful solutions in line with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.

The Finnish politician made the comment at a meeting on June 23 with Vietnamese Ambassador to Finland Bui Van Khoa who handed over to him a letter of the Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly’s Committee for External Relations, Tran Van Hang, relating to China’s illegal positioning of an oil rig deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

At the meeting, Ambassador Khoa stressed that China’s dispatch of the rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 and a large fleet of ships into Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone is an illegal action that obviously violates Vietnam’s sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction, encroaching on Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone stipulated in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The move runs counter to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and agreements signed by the two countries’ leaders, as well as causing security instability in the region and threatening maritime security and safety in the East Sea, he added.

Chinese ships continuously chased, impeded and rammed at ships of Vietnamese fishermen and law enforcement forces, causing property loss and threatening the life of Vietnamese people, Khoa said, noting that despite China’s violations, Vietnam is determined to settle disputes peacefully on the basis of international law and has actively initiated communications with the Chinese side.

The diplomat asked Finland together with the international community to condemn China’s violations of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty and international law.

Timo Juhani Soini said that China’s placement of its oil rig is not a simultaneous act but part of China’s long-term strategy that is similar to several incidents relating to territorial disputes between China and its neighbours like the Philippines, Malaysia and Japan.

China’s real target behind the move is to control the exploitation of oil and gas as well as maritime trading and navigation in the East Sea, he said.-VNA