The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations in Ho Chi Minh City (HUFO) on July 10 issued a statement protesting China ’s illegal activities in the East Sea.

In the statement, HUFO reiterated that China ’s deployment of its drilling rig escorted by a large number of ships, including battleships and aircraft to Vietnam ’s waters seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction over its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in the East Sea.

China ’s acts gravely infringed international law, especially 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed by China and the ASEAN member countries, said the statement.

The moves also ran counter to high-level agreements on the basic principles guiding the settlement of East Sea issues, threatening peace, stability, maritime security and safety as well as the freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, it said.

The actions of China also severely harmed the Vietnam-China relations, it added.

“The HUFO strongly protests China’s moves and requests Chinese authorities to immediately stop provocative actions that undermine the friendly neighbourliness between the two countries and defy justice,” read the statement.

The union also demanded China to unconditionally remove its rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 and all ships out of Vietnam ’s waters without delay, showing respect for international law.

The statement also denounced China ’s actions of deploying more drilling rigs in the areas of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago and conducting illegal construction on reefs and islands that it illegally occupied in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, regardless of morality, law and the Vietnam-China relationship.

The same day, the People’s Council of the central city of Da Nang also approved a resolution opposing China ’s illegal actions in the East Sea .

The resolution highlighted that China’s act of sinking fishing boat DNa 90152 of Da Nang fishermen is an inhumane and dangerous behavior, calling it a crime.

It also called on Chinese people and elective officials to stand up for historical truth, justice and international law as well as long-term interest of both peoples, raising their voice to pressure the Chinese Government to immediately stop illegal actions and violation of Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

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 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.

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.

On May 26, Chinese ship 11209 even sank a Vietnamese fishing vessel DNa 90152 that was operating normally in its traditional fishing grounds near Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago.-VNA