German Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel expressed his concern about the current tension in the East Sea while meeting with Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang in Berlin on June 25.

Gabriel, who is also leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, said he admires the Vietnamese people for their spirit in their struggle and national reconstruction, stating that the German public opinion gives much support to the country.

Hoang briefed his host on China’s long-drawn attempt to escalate tension in the East Sea, including its use of force to occupy Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago and some islands in Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago.

Vietnam has full historic and legal evidence to prove its sovereignty over the two archipelagoes, he stated, stressing that China’s so-called “nine-dash line” claim gravely violates Vietnam’s sovereignty in the East Sea.

He noted that China is becoming more aggressive, with its most recent provocative act of placing drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 deep inside Vietnam’s economic zone and continental shelf.

Hoang reiterated Vietnam’s constant policy of resolutely safeguarding its sovereignty through peaceful measures on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 United Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.

“Having experienced painful struggles to defend the country, Vietnam has an ardent love for peace and freedom, as well as a great trust in the victory of justice,” stated Hoang.

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.-VNA