The Vietnam Tuna Association has raised its voice in protest against China’s illegal placement of an oil rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.

A document issued by the association read that China on May 2 stationed the drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude, deep in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.

China has deployed many ships of various kinds to the area, harassed Vietnamese coast guard and fisheries surveillance ships, and obstructed Vietnamese fishermen when they were working normally in waters of Vietnam’s sovereignty, it said.

The association condemned this as a violation of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and agreements reached between high-ranking officials of the two countries, jeopardising the regional peace and stability.

It demanded China to immediately completely withdraw the rig and all escort ships from the area unconditionally, not conduct similar actions, and solve disputes through negotiations with Vietnam.

The organisation added that the Vietnamese people always want to maintain peace and friendship between the two countries for long-term interests of both peoples, as well as for the sake of regional and international peace, stability and development.-VNA