Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Le Huy Hoang has called on politicians, academics and diplomatic missions in the country to voice objections to China’s aggressive actions in the East Sea and back Vietnam’s legitimate demand for China’s withdrawal of its illegally-placed rig from Vietnam’s waters.

Addressing a workshop on the East Sea situation on June 12, Hoang briefed the participations on the latest developments.

He stated that ever since China illegally placed its Haiyang Shiyou-981 drilling rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in early May, it has maintained a large number of armed ships and aircraft to defend the rig, conduct aggressive actions and even sink a Vietnamese fishing boat.

These deeds have seriously violated international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, to which China is a signatory, Hoang said, adding that Vietnam is determined to solve all disputes by peaceful means in line with international law in order to protect its legitimate rights and interests.

During the workshop, representatives from many diplomatic missions appreciated the Vietnamese Embassy’s organisation of the event. They raised their voice to support justice and Vietnam’s guideline of restraining itself and using peaceful measures.

Delegates also suggested Vietnam take full advantage of relevant mechanisms and forums within the framework of the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of 77 to get more support from the international community.

Meanwhile, in Norway, Vietnamese people there have raised 6,000 USD for a fund towards Vietnam’s sea and islands.

At the beginning of May, China illegally positioned the rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude, a location 80 miles deep inside Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

Vietnam has attempted to conduct exchanges of ideas and dialogue with China on over 30 occasions in various forms and at different levels to demand China unconditionally end all violations of Vietnam’s sovereign right and jurisdiction as well as Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa archipelago.

However, far from responding to Vietnam’s goodwill requests, China has expanded its scale of operation and moved the rig several times in the same area. Its latest position is 15 degrees 33 minutes 36 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 34 minutes 11 seconds east longitude, 60 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s waters.-VNA