Overseas Vietnamese around the world on May 18 organised massive rallies to protest China’s illegal placement of its oil rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

In the Republic of Korea (RoK), nearly 2,000 Vietnamese carrying the national flag and banners marched streets in the southern city of Busan, demanding China to immediately recall its Haiyang Shiyou-981 from Vietnam’s waters.

They were joined by many Koreans and foreigners, and the crowd swelled to 3,000 by noon.

The demonstrators also sent a protest letter in Vietnamese, English, Korean and Chinese to the Chinese Consulate General in Busan.

Meanwhile, about 300 people, mostly students, held a sitting protest near the Chinese Embassy in Seoul from 12h-14h the same day. The protest’s organising board also sent a protest letter to the Chinese Embassy.

At the same time, another crowd of about 2,000 Vietnamese people from northern localities of the RoK gathered about 800m from the Chinese Embassy, turning the area into a sea of red-and-golden-star flags.

A rally was also organised about 100m from the Chinese Consulate General in the RoK’s central province of Gwangju with the participation of about 300 Vietnamese.

All the rallies took place in peace and order in accordance with the host country’s law.

In Italy, the Vietnamese community and Italian friends also took to the streets to protest China’s illegal deployment of its oil rig in Vietnamese waters.

They gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy in Rome , shouting slogans and holding up banners calling on China to respect international law and remove its oil rig out of Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf at once.

In their letter of appeal read before the crowd, they emphasized that China’s placement of its Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Vietnam’s waters as well as its provocative actions of attacking Vietnam’s Coast Guard and Fisheries Surveillance ships seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereign right and jurisdiction.

China’s move also infringed international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea between China and the ASEAN, intensifying tension in the East Sea and harming peace, stability and security in the region, said the letter.

The Association of Vietnamese Students in Italy also issued a statement condemning China’s perverse acts and asking the country to avoid acts that can harm regional peace and stability.

Roberto Tofani, an Italian taking part in the rally, said China’s unilateral act of sending its oil rig to Vietnam’s waters is a provocative move with bad intention. He added that although China and Vietnam have committed to solve all disputes by peaceful measures and cooperation, in reality, China has acted on the opposite way.

Participations at the rally also called on peace-loving people around the world to raise their voice against China ’s illegal move.

The same day, a meeting attended by about 200 Vietnamese was held in Luanda, the capital of Angola, to raise objection against China’s violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty.

Massive protests were also organised in front of the Chinese Embassy in Canberra and the Chinese Consulate General in Melbourne on May 17 and 18. Hundreds of protesters, including many Australians, carried banners denouncing China’s illegal deployment of its oil rig in Vietnam’s waters and calling on the Chinese government to act with more responsibility and respect for international law.

John Hamilton, a lecturer at the Victoria University, said Vietnam is not alone in the country’s struggle against China’s irrational acts in the East Sea.

On May 18, overseas Vietnamese in South Africa also held a meeting to show their anger at China’s illegal placement of its oil rig in Vietnam’s waters.-VNA