Hundreds of Vietnamese in Ukraine on May 12 held a mass rally in front of the Chinese embassy in Kiev, holding aloft banners asking China to pull its illegally-placed oil rig Haiyang Shiyou – 981 and escort ships out of Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone without delay.

Demonstrators read a note of protest signed by hundreds of them, which described China’s acts as a flagrant violation of international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, to which China is a signatory.

The note also stated that China’s violation has posed a direct threat to peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Sea, undermining friendship between the two nations.

The Vietnamese community in Ukraine strongly opposes and stands firm to join efforts with their fellows both at home and abroad in the defence of national sovereignty and interest, it wrote.

Numerous Ukraine residents also expressed their support to Vietnam in its fight for justice.

Meanwhile, in Angola, the national Vietnamese association also issued a statement requesting China to earnestly abide by international law, especially the UNCLOS.

Many suggested hosting a demonstration in front of the Chinese embassy in Luanda and sending more youngsters back home to stand up for national sovereignty.

At the request of its members, the association will launch a one-month fundraising drive from May 14, with the total proceeds coming home for the endeavour.

During working trips to Benguela and Kwanda provinces, Ambassador Do Ba Khoa assured the Vietnamese there that the Party, State and people at home are determined to keep territorial sovereignty intact by all means, taking advantage of worldwide support while fighting both in the field and on diplomatic and media fronts.

On May 2, China stationed the rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude. The location is 80 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and 119 nautical miles from Vietnam’s Ly Son Island.

China has so far deployed 86 vessels of various kinds to the area, including military, coast guard, marine surveillance, marine patrol and fishing ships.

The provocative acts by China, including the ramming and firing of water cannons into Vietnamese coast guard ships during their law enforcement missions in the country’s waters have left many Vietnamese ships damaged and nine fisheries surveillance officers injured.-VNA