The executive board of the Vietnamese Association in the UK at a meeting on May 14 expressed their support to the Vietnamese Government in safeguarding the country’s sovereignty and rebuked China for violating Vietnam’s waters.

Chairman of the association Son Thanh cited Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s speech at the recent ASEAN Summit in Myanmar, in which he said that Vietnam always attaches special importance to maintaining and strengthening its friendly relations with China.

However, the country vehemently denounces acts of infringement and will resolutely protect its national sovereignty and legitimate interests in conformity with international law, the speech read.

Thanh said the current East Sea situation is serious. He called on overseas Vietnamese people to join hands with the Government to protect their sovereignty.

Members of the board also demanded China to remove its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 as well as escort vessels from Vietnam’s waters.

The association and other organisations of the Vietnamese community in the UK will hold a peaceful rally in front of the Chinese Embassy on May 18 to protest China’s illegal act.

Besides, the association plans to launch a campaign to call for support to those suffering from China’s provocative actions.

Ben Chapman, Chairman of the Vietnam-UK Network – which groups organisations and individuals wishing to boost bilateral relations, voiced his worry over China’s actions which jeopardise peace and stability, and violate the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea agreed upon between ASEAN and China in 2002.

He called on all sides to negotiate on the basis of the 1982 UNCLOS to soon work out settlement solutions.

On May 2, China stationed the Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil 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 to Vietnam’s Ly Son Island.

Besides, it has deployed a large number of ships of various kinds to the area, including military, coast guard, marine surveillance, marine patrol and fisheries that are backed by rescue, transport, refuelling and fishing ships.

Chinese ships have repeatedly rammed and fired water cannons into Vietnamese coast guard and fisheries surveillance ships which are carrying out their law enforcement missions in the country’s waters, leaving many Vietnamese ships damaged and officers injured.-VNA