Vietnam once again requested China to immediately withdraw its drilling rig and accompanying vessels from the maritime waters of Vietnam, Ambassador Le Hoai Trung, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations has said.

Addressing the plenary session of the 24th meeting of States-Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in New York on June 13, Ambassador Trung also demanded China settle disputes through negotiations and other peaceful means in accordance with international law, including the UNCLOS.

As head of the Vietnamese delegation to the event, the diplomat also called for the continued attention by the international community, including UNCLOS States Parties, to the situation in the East Sea and their opposition against unilateral acts that create tensions.

He also called for the international community’s support for the non-use or threat of use of force and settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, including the UNCLOS 1982.

In his speech, the Vietnamese diplomat stressed, as “a Constitution for the Oceans”, the Convention embodies the tremendous efforts of the international community to establish an equitable international legal order for use, exploitation, management and sustainable development of the oceans and seas.

Vietnam, which signed the Convention on the very first day it was open for signature, has in the past years, made serious efforts to comply with the provisions of UNCLOS and contribute to maintaining peace, stability in the East Sea area, a seaborne transport route of commercial goods, the ambassador said.

Trung also briefed the meeting of the developments in the East Sea since May 2, when China illegally placed the giant Haiyang Shiyou 981 drilling rig 80 nautical miles deep into the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam.

The rig was accompanied by a large number of vessels, including military ships and military aircraft, he said, adding that Chinese vessels have intentionally rammed and fired water cannon on civilian law enforcement and fishing vessels of Vietnam and even sank one Vietnamese fishing boat with 10 fishermen on board who were fishing within the exclusive economic zone of Vietnam.

Vietnam has exercised the utmost restraint and put forth repeated constructive proposals, including more than 30 communications at various levels and through different channels with China, requesting it to immediately withdraw its drilling rig and accompanying vessels, the ambassador noted.

At the discussion session, the Vietnamese delegation again confirmed Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa archipelago and pointed out the illegality of China’s placement of its drilling rig deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. They rejected distorted viewpoints presented by China at this meeting.

At the event, delegates from Japan, the Philippines and Malaysia voiced their concerns over the complex developments in the East Sea, calling for related parties to exercise restraint, not to threaten or use force and deal with disputes through peaceful measures in compliance with international law and the UNCLOS.

They also asked parties concerned to strictly abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and soon finalise the Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.-VNA