The Khmer ethnic minority community in the southern province of Bac Lieu are closely watching the developments in the East Sea as China is illegally placing its oil rig in Vietnam’s waters.

Most venerable Tang Sa Vong, head of Buppharam pagoda in Vinh Loi district, said the East Sea issue was the talk of most gatherings of local Buddhists and followers.

All the pagodas in the province have informed their monks and nuns as well as Khmer people of China’s violations of Vietnam’s sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction.

Huynh Muoi in Gia Rai district said local Khmer people are indignant with China’s acts in the East Sea which go against international norms and agreements between the two countries’ leaders.

They ask China to stop its illegal acts by withdrawing the rig and escort ships out of Vietnam’s waters, he added.

Thach Quet, head of the Thach family in Vinh Trach Dong commune, Bac Lieu city, said the members of his clan always trust the Party and State’s policy of addressing the East Sea issue by peaceful measures on the basis of international law.

In early 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. The location is 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