The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) has voiced opposition against China’s wrongful and dangerous act of illegally placing its oil rig in Vietnam’s waters, demanding the country immediately recall the rig as well as all surrounding vessels out of the area.

In a statement issued on June 7, the VGCL requested that China stop its illegal acts and inhumane behaviour towards Vietnamese fishermen in the East Sea and desist from similar actions in the future.

On May 26, a Chinese vessel took the brutal action of sinking Vietnamese fishing boat DNa 90152 and hindering other Vietnamese ships trying to rescue those on board.

The statement reiterated Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelagoes, as well as the country’s sovereign right and jurisdiction over its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, as prescribed in international law.

The VGCL asked China to abide by international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and strictly implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties between China and ASEAN as well as other agreement signed between the two countries.

The confederation supported the policy and efforts of the Vietnamese Government and authorised agencies in resolutely protecting the legal sovereignty through peaceful measures.

The VGCL also called on the international community to raise their voice for justice, preserving international law, protesting China ’s illegal act, and protecting peace and stability in the world.

The VGCL hopes to strengthen the friendship between the peoples of Vietnam and China as well as the two labour unions in particular, said the statement.

However, the federation and its members will do their utmost to protect the country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as justice and international law for peace, stability and security in the region and the world, it concluded.

At the beginning of 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 inside Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

China’s armed vessels aggressively fired high-power water cannons at and intentionally rammed against Vietnamese public-service and civil ships, causing damage to many boats and injuring many people on board.

Chinese ships have continuously encircled, constrained and driven away Vietnamese fishing boats and even injured Vietnamese fishermen, threatening their lives.

On May 27, China moved the rig to 15 degrees 33 minutes 22 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 34 minutes 36 seconds east longitude, 25 nautical miles from Tri Ton Island in Vietnam ’s Hoang Sa archipelago and 23 nautical miles east-northeast from the old location.

On June 3, the oil rig moved yet again to another new position, at 15 degrees 33 minutes 36 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 34 minutes 11 seconds east longitude. The new position is still completely within Vietnam ’s continental shelf.-VNA