The Permanent Mission of Vietnam to the United Nations Office, the World Trade Organisation and Other International Organisations in Geneva on May 20 issued a press release on the recent developments in the East Sea and Vietnam’s position on the situation.

The press release gave detailed descriptions of China’s move since May 2, 2014 when it installed the Haiyang Shiyou-981 rig inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

It emphasized that the operation of the drilling platform and supporting ships constitutes an intentional and grave violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction on the Hoang Sa Archipelago, and its Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf. This also seriously violates the agreement reached between the leaders of the two countries as well as going against the spirit and language of the 2002 Declaration on the Conducts of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and relevant provisions of international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). China's wrongful act negatively affects the maritime security and safety in the East Sea and directly threatens peace, stability and cooperation in the region and the world.

The press release made clear that Vietnam has persistently tried to maintain dialogue with China and seek a peaceful solution to the issue, including making public statements and contacting the Chinese side twenty times on the incident. The Foreign Ministry of Vietnam made eight communications with the Chinese side in Hanoi and Beijing. Noticeably, in the afternoon of May 6, 2014, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh had a phone conversation with Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi.

However, China has been maintaining the continued and intensified presence of its oil rig and ships in the 143 Block off the Vietnamese waters, ignoring Vietnam's communications.

“The Government of Vietnam requests the Governments of all countries to voice criticism against China's wrongful acts, and to ask China to withdraw the drilling platform out of the waters of Vietnam to respect rights and interests of all littoral countries in accordance with the 1982 UNCLOS,” the press release said.

It urged that China should be requested to fully observe the DOC, ensure maritime and airborne safety and security in the East Sea and to work with Vietnam for speedy settlement of disputes through peaceful dialogue, thus contributing to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region.

The press release was attached with maps of the location of China’s deep water drilling platform; remarks by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at the Plenary Meeting of ASEAN-24 Summit in Nay Pi Taw, Myanmar, this month; ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Statement on the current developments in the East Sea issued in Nay Pi Taw on May 10; and highlights of international responses to current developments in the East Sea.-VNA