The Vietnam Historian Association on May 10 issued a declaration protesting China’s illegal placement of an oil rig within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and its threats to Vietnamese ships in Vietnamese waters.

The association denounced China’s act, saying that it has blatantly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Vietnam and deliberately infringed on Vietnam’s economic exclusive zone.

China’s move defied the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of which China itself is a member. It also violated the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea signed between ASEAN and China in 2002.

The association also said that China’s move went against pledges which had been committed by Chinese and Vietnamese leaders and had lifted tensions.

China’s dangerous behaviour has negatively impacted marine safety and security in the East Sea and the interests of ASEAN countries and the world, the association stated.

Historically, Vietnam has respected China and done its utmost to build the friendship with its neighbour, the association stated, adding that history also proves that Vietnam never gives in to aggression and resolutely defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The association has demanded that China remove its rig and ships from Vietnam’s waters in accordance with the 1982 UNCLOS and in the spirit of DOC to restore peace, stability and marine security in the East Sea.-VNA