The Association of Vietnamese Students and Professionals in the United States has strongly protested China’s illegal placement of a drilling rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in the East Sea.

The act taken by China has escalated tensions in the East Sea, disregarding international law and norms, according to a press release on the association’s website,

Based on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), China’s illegal placement of the Haiyang Shiyou – 981 oil rig, escorted by a fleet of ships, including military vessels, and military jets in Vietnam’s waters violates the country’s sea sovereignty and international law and conventions.

The press release said “We, the official organisation of thousands of Vietnamese students and professionals in the US, resolutely oppose the Chinese authority’s hegemonic activities to annex the legal territory and interests of Vietnam. We ask that people over the world, especially peace-loving Chinese people and Americans voice their opposition to the Chinese authority’s aggression, demand Beijing deescalate the tensions, stop making bogus maritime territorial claims, and stabilise the region.”

It also stressed China’s territorial claim through the “nine-dotted line” has no legal or historical basis.

The association also called on overseas Vietnamese students all over the world to keep international friends informed of Beijing’s aggressive behavior and bogus sovereignty claims.-VNA