Elders from the Association of Hung Kings Temple in San Jose city, the US state of California, have handed a letter demanding China’s withdrawal of its rig from Vietnam’s waters over to the Chinese General Consulate in San Francisco.

The association is a non-political charitable organisation established by Vietnamese-American people in San Jose some 30 years ago to worship the Hung Kings – the legendary founders of Vietnam – along with other heroes in the countries’ history.

The letter read that by positioning the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, China once again deliberately violates the 1982 United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).

The elders requested China to respect the sovereignty of its neighbouring countries, abide by international laws of the sea, and immediately withdraw its oil rig from Vietnam’s waters.

At their demonstration in front of the Chinese Consulate on May 12, hundreds of leaflets in English and Chinese opposing China’s act were handed out to passers-by and they expressed a supportive attitude to Vietnam.

The association plans to stage sits-in on every Monday until China removes its oil rig.

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. The location is 80 nautical miles deep in Vietnam ’s exclusive economic zone and 119 nautical miles to Vietnam ’s Ly Son Island.

China has deployed 86 ships of various kinds to the area. They include military, coast guard, marine surveillance, marine patrol and fisheries ships backed by rescue, transport, refuelling and fishing ships.-VNA