Vietnam resolutely insists that China withdraw its oil rig and fleet of over 100 ships from Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone to create an environment for negotiation, United Nations Ambassador Le Hoai Trung said on June 10.

In an interview granted to international media in New York, Trung said China is refusing to engage in dialogue and insisting there is no dispute, while claiming the area around the rig belongs to China.

He added that China's refusal is provocative and raising serious concerns.

Responding to Chinese accusation that Vietnam has been intentionally disrupting the rig’s operation and ramming Chinese vessels, the diplomat said the rig’s vicinity is completely within Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, adding that Vietnam deploys only civil ships to the area to enforce the law while China sends warships.

Vietnam invited global reporters, including those from China, to witness the current situation. Published images showing Chinese ships firing water cannons at or trying to sink Vietnamese fishing boats have proved the truth, he noted.

The ambassador said Vietnam has sufficient legal basis and historical evidence to affirm its sovereignty over the area where the rig is stationed.

He added the country is not the provocative side, and it wants to settle the issue peacefully, through dialogue and negotiations.

Trung stressed that so far, Vietnam has exercised utmost restraint, and the Vietnamese people always want peace after suffering from decades of wars.

At the beginning of May, China illegally positioned the rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude, a location 80 miles deep inside Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

China has also dispatched a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft to Vietnam’s waters.

Vietnam has attempted to conduct exchanges of ideas and dialogue with China on over 30 occasions in various forms and at different levels to demand China unconditionally end all violations of Vietnam’s sovereign right and jurisdiction as well as Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa archipelago.

Most recently, Vietnam on June 4 sent its third diplomatic note to China asking it to seriously respect international law and immediately stop violations of Vietnam ’s sovereign right and jurisdiction over its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

However, far from responding to Vietnam’s goodwill requests, China has expanded its scale of operation and moved the Haiyang Shiyou-981 drilling rig to 15 degrees 33 minutes 36 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 34 minutes 11 seconds east longitude. The new location is 60 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s waters.-VNA