The Vietnam Journalists Association (VJA) on June 29 issued a statement requesting China to immediately stop its provocative acts and violations of Vietnam’s sea and island sovereignty.

The statement said after China illegally positioned its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Vietnam’s waters, on May 10, the VJA President sent a letter to the Chairman of the All-China Journalists Association strongly protesting against China’s violations of Vietnam ’s sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction. The VJA President also demanded that China immediately end its illegal actions and withdraw the rig together with escort ships and aircraft from Vietnam’s waters.

However, China has continued with its aggressive acts, defying justice and the waves of opposition in Vietnam and the world. Not only has it not withdrawn the rig, China conducted even more dangerous and serious actions such as using large vessels to ram against Vietnamese ships, damaging many boats and their equipment as well as causing danger to the lives of Vietnamese citizens on board. At the same time, it loudly slanders and blames Vietnam.

On May 26, Chinese ship coded 11209 sank a fishing boat belonging to Da Nang fishermen which was operating in their traditional fishing grounds near Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago.

On June 1, Chinese ships repeatedly fired water cannons at and rammed hard against ship 2016 of the Vietnam Coast Guard, causing four holes just 40cm above the water level on its right side.

And in the latest development, on June 23, seven Chinese vessels encircled, fired high-pressure water cannons and rammed against Vietnamese fisheries surveillance ship KN-951 while it was enforcing law in the area within Vietnam ’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

“These were dangerous acts that escalate tension in the area, harm the sentiment between the two peoples and threaten peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Sea ,” the statement affirmed.

Once again, the VJA strongly denounces China’s provocative acts and demands the Chinese side to respect international law, promptly withdraw the Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig from Vietnam’s waters as well as immediately stop all violations of Vietnam’s sea and island sovereignty and the use of force to seriously threaten the lives of fishermen, fisheries surveillance officers and Vietnam’s law enforcement forces, read the statement.

The association calls on the international press community, including the Chinese press, to understand the situation in a clear and right way and condemn the dangerous provocative actions which infringe international law, firstly the 1892 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and violate Vietnam’s sovereignty over its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

The VJA also reiterated Vietnam’s stance on resolving disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, equality and mutual respect, for the common interests of the two countries’ people as well as for peace in the region and the world at large.

“The VJA believes that all nations, large or small, are equally responsible for common peace and security and they need mutual respect and trust,” the statement said.

At the same time, the association said it always wishes to foster the traditional friendship and cooperation between the people and the press circles of Vietnam and China.-VNA