The Vietnam Lawyers’ Association (VLA) on June 25 issued another declaration protesting against China’s actions that are escalating tensions in Vietnam’s waters.

The declaration said regardless of the objection of Vietnam and the international community and the Vietnamese Government’s good will and efforts to solve tensions peacefully, China continues to make brazen moves raising tensions.

Chinese ships, escorted by aircraft, deliberately rammed and fired high-power water cannons at Vietnamese vessels, causing damage to many boats and injuring many people on board, the declaration said, noting that on May 26, Chinese fishing ship 11209 sank a Vietnamese fishing vessel with 10 fishermen on board and on June 1, Chinese ships hit ship 2016 of the Vietnam Coast Guard, breaking four holes on its right side.

More seriously, on June 23, seven Chinese ships en circled ship KN-95 of the Vietnamese fisheries surveillance force, strongly rammed into one side of the Vietnamese ship, causing serious damage to the ship and preventing the ship from carrying out its mission inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

The association asserted that these acts of China are clearly the use of force which seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty and human rights, running counter to the United Nations Charter and international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

These violent acts in reality are a far cry from what China often says as “only normal law enforcement activities,” the association said, adding that they not only affect Vietnamese fishermen and law enforcement forces who are operating within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf but also cause concern for all nations in the East Sea, running counter to moral standards and international law.

The VLA demands that the Chinese side immediately get the rig out of Vietnam’s waters and end all force-using acts that threaten the life of Vietnamese people. It also asks China to respect international law and put an end to actions that can make the situation more complicated, raising tension in the region and threatening maritime security and safety in the East Sea.

The association also called on lawyers and people all over the world to continue strongly condemning China’s law violations, while affirming that it always wants to boost the friendship and cooperation between the peoples of Vietnam and China as well as between lawyers of both sides.

However, if China deliberately does not abide by the UN Charter and international law and continues infringing Vietnam’s sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction, the VLA, with more than 46,000 members, resolutely calls on the Vietnamese government to take legal actions in line with international law. The association pledges its support of the Government in such a move.

Earlier, the VLA on May 9 issued the first declaration protesting against China’s illegal placement of its Haiyang Shiyou-981 drilling rig deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.-VNA