An expert on Southeast Asia at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs has criticised China’s illegal placement of the Haiyang Shiyou – 981 drilling rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency in Germany, Dr. Gerhard Will said that China’s deed violates the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

According to him, the act constitutes a serious setback in the efforts to diminish disputes in the East Sea as well as the implementation of the DOC signed by China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

China’s deed is unbeneficial to its political and economic ties with its southern neighbours while seriously damaging its relationship with Vietnam, he noted.

Tension escalation is neither a desire of Southeast Asian countries nor of benefit to China’s long-term interest, he said.

He added that all nations in territorial disputes with China like Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines need to do now is to react carefully and maintain a common stance.-VNA