The Ho Chi Minh City Department of External Affairs on May 12 summoned the Chinese Consulate General’s representatives to protest against China’s illegal deployment of its drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 and a number of escort ships in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

The office’s authorities described this act as illegal, saying it runs counter to international law and practices and seriously violates Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago as well as its sovereign right and jurisdiction over the country’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.
It also negatively impacts political trust and cooperation between the two countries and hurts Vietnamese people, including those in HCM City, they said.

They stressed Vietnam has sufficient historical and legal evidence attesting its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa archipelago. The country will use all necessary and suitable measures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interest.

Vietnam always patiently shows goodwill towards settling disputes through negotiations, dialogues and other peaceful ways following the common perceptions of the two countries’ high-ranking leaders, the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues in compliance with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), they said.

Over recent days, people from all walks of life in Ho Chi Minh City have expressed their protest against China’s brazen violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty and demanded China immediately withdraw its rig and vessels from Vietnam’s waters.

The City’s citizens have showed their backing for the Government’s policy of solving disputes in the East Sea by peaceful means on the basis of international law, the UNCLOS and the agreement on fundamental principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues.-VNA