Hundreds of foreign friends on June 21 marched again together with Vietnamese students and people living in Switzerland to protest China’s escalation of tensions in the East Sea by placing its Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.

In a speech in front of the Vietnamese community in Switzerland, a representative from the Switzerland – Vietnam Friendship Association underlined Vietnam’s consistent stance on solving tensions in the East Sea through peaceful measures against China’s illegally unilateral action.

The representative said along with the placement of its oil rig, China’s illegal construction of other works in the East Sea seriously violates Vietnam’s sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, and infringes the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed between China and ASEAN member nations.

China’s deed also threatens peace and stability in the region and the world, creating a dangerous precedent on conduct between countries, the representative added.

Speaking with a Vietnam News Agency’s correspondent, Phillippe Schneider, who is in charge of projects carried out by the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, stressed that China is especially responsible for maintaining international peace and security as it is one of the five permanent members having veto power in the United Nations Security Council. However, China’s acts in the East Sea runs counter to its responsibility.

Following China’s illegal dispatch of its oil rig in Vietnam’s waters, friendships associations with Vietnam in Germany, Denmark, France, Galicia region (Portugal), the UK, Italy and Switzerland issued joint statement to support Vietnam and request China to immediately remove its rig out of Vietnam’s waters.

Since early May, China has illegally operated the rig and a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft in Vietnam’s waters.

Despite Vietnam’s protests, China has 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, which is 60 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

China’s armed vessels have aggressively and consistently 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 26, Chinese ship 11209 sank a Vietnamese fishing vessel while it was operating normally in its traditional fishing ground near Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago.-VNA