Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc, who led a Vietnamese delegation to the ongoing 17th Non-Aligned Movement ministerial meeting in Algiers, has updated the participants on China’s illegal placement of its drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf since early May.

Following is his full text at the May 28 session:

“Viet Nam commends the theme of this Conference, that is Enhanced Solidarity for Security and Prosperity.

“However, in many parts of the world, tension and instability persist. Many NAM member countries are affected by wars and conflicts, or are victims of threat or use of force, intimidation or coercion by big powers. NAM member countries still have to cope with the consequences of the global financial and economic crises and persistent difficulties in striving for MDGs. At the same time, they are faced with more acute challenges of sustainable development, negative climate change, ensuring food and energy security.

“Today, the Movement’s solidarity is still essential to the attainment of our common priorities. In the first place, it is the upholding of the principles of international law, including respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, non-use of force or threat to use force, peaceful settlement of disputes. Our priorities also include endeavors towards the MDGs and continued efforts to reform international economic, financial and trade relations. We should also continue to enhance the effectiveness of NAM. In this regard, we should guard against actions under outside influence that run against the principles and practices of the Movement.

“Asia - Pacific is home to a large number of NAM member countries. Over the last several decades, people in a number of subregions have been enjoying peace and development.

“However, there remain real risks of conflicts. One of such areas is the South China Sea, also called as the East Sea, through which two thirds of global commercial shipping goes. For many other factors, the South China Sea also has important bearing on peace and security in Asia - Pacific and the world.
In this connection, we feel obliged to inform our fellow member countries and others of an extremely serious, on-going situation:

“Since 1st of May 2014, China has deployed her deep-water oil drilling rig to a location which is 80 miles deep into Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as prescribed by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS). The rig is accompanied by more than 130 Chinese ships, including military vessels and airplanes. This gravely violates international law and the Declaration on the Conducts of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) reached between China and ASEAN. The acts by China directly threaten peace, stability and maritime security and safety, and freedom of navigation and over flight in the South China Sea.

“It is consistent policy of Vietnam to solve international disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international law. Vienam always attaches special importance to friendly relations with our neighboring countries, including China. Vietnam has exercised utmost restraint, showed every gesture of goodwill and explored all dialogue channels to solve the issue and restore peace and stability in the area. We request China to withdraw the oil drilling rig and accompanying ships out of Viet Nam’s EEZ.

“We call on our fellow NAM members to show solidarity and contribute to peace and security in Southeast Asia, for the legitimate interests of NAM members. By doing so, NAM would further enhance its relevance.

“I would like to express my delegation’s appreciation to the Government and people of Algeria for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements for this Conference. We also appreciate the hard efforts of Iran as Chair of NAM in expanding the role and effectiveness of the Movement”.-VNA