Vietnam will use every appropriate measure to safeguard its sovereignty in the East Sea, Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh has said.

Speaking at a regular press conference held in Hanoi on May 15, Binh stressed that Vietnam fiercely protests China’s illegal deployment of its Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig in Vietnam’s continental shelf, saying that this action seriously violates Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction as regulated in the Charter of the United Nations and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Binh also informed the media of recent happenings in the East Sea. He said China continues deploying its ships to protect the rig, defying the loud protests of Vietnam and the international community.

Vietnam has patiently and earnestly communicated with China through various channels at different levels to convey its opposition to the illegal deed, Binh said.
The spokesman, however, added that responding to Vietnam’s goodwill, China is continuing its illegal behaviour by deploying more ships and aircraft to the area where the rig is placed.

He said that up to now, China is still maintaining the operation of its ships, including military vessels, and aircraft in the area, which have overwhelmed and attacked Vietnam’s ships by water cannons while they were undertaking sovereignty defence tasks, causing material damage and injuring more staffers of the fisheries control force and the maritime police of Vietnam.

Binh also answered several questions related to whether Vietnam will submit the issue to the UN. He said this is the right of each UN member nation and Vietnam has circulated a diplomatic note objecting to China’s deeds in the East Sea to the UN.

In regards to extremist acts during protests in Vietnam against China’s illegal actions, Binh said it is legitimate and natural for people to show their patriotism and determination to protect the country’s sovereignty and independence. However, they need to respect the law and the friendship between nations in the world.

The spokesman also expressed his deep gratitude to foreign nations, individuals and organisations for their support to Vietnam, affirming that this is a great encouragement for the Vietnamese Government and people in the battle to protect the country’s sea and island sovereignty.-VNA