The Hoa (ethnic Chinese) community in Ho Chi Minh City has expressed very strong disapproval of China’s illegal act of placing the Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig in Vietnam’s waters.

Head of the municipal Department for Ethnic Groups Ngo Van Trien was speaking during a working session between the municipal Party Committee and the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Popularisation and Education on May 27.

Hoa Intellectuals, traders, enterprises and students in the city have expressed hope that China will swiftly withdraw its rig from Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf as well as restrain itself to avoid causing conflicts between the two countries, Trien said.

According to Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Hua Ngoc Thuan, citizens have vehemently opposed China as the country illegally stationed its drilling rig in Vietnam’s waters, saying that the move seriously violates Vietnam’s sovereignty and negatively affects the countries’ friendship.

They have also shown their support for the Party and State’s consistent stance in the issue.

On May 2, China stationed the Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude. The location is 80 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and 119 nautical miles to Vietnam’s Ly Son Island. It is 17 nautical miles from Tri Ton Island in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago.

On May 27, China moved the rig to 15 degrees 33.38 minutes north latitude and 111 degrees 34.62 seconds east longitude. The location is 25 nautical miles from Tri Ton Island, still completely within Vietnam’s continental shelf.

Chinese ships surrounding the rig have repeatedly rammed and fired water cannons into Vietnamese coast guard and fisheries surveillance ships which are carrying out their law enforcement missions in Vietnam’s waters, leaving many Vietnamese boats damaged and officers injured.

Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Le Hai Binh on May 27 demanded China stop its aggressive actions against Vietnamese fishermen, as surrounding Chinese vessels have been chasing them and threatening them with violence completely within Vietnam’s sea area.

The recent inhuman actions endangered lives and damaged the property and legitimate interests of Vietnamese fishermen, Binh said, asking the Chinese side to respect international law, punish those responsible in earnest, pay adequate compensation and prevent a repeat of the behaviour.-VNA