The France-Vietnam Friendship Association has hosted a workshop on Vietnam, during which participants applauded the country’s stable economic growth and successful international integration policies.

Addressing the workshop in Paris on June 17, Vietnamese Ambassador Duong Chi Dung highlighted Vietnam’s great achievements after nearly three decades of reform. In the context of a prolonged economic crisis of the globe, the nation manages to maintain a growth rate of over 5 percent and has become an attractive destination to investors thanks to many preferential policies, Dung stated.

The diplomat also updated delegates on the current East Sea tension, stressing China’s provocative actions since its illegal placement of the Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in early May.

Chinese ships, dispatched to defend the rig, have aggressively rammed at and fired water cannons against Vietnam’s coast guard and fisheries surveillance force ships and fishing vessels, he said, adding that these acts have seriously infringed international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.

Participants, who are representatives from the legislative body, diplomatic agencies and French experts on Vietnam, voiced their objection to China’s illegal actions and asked the country to get its rig out of Vietnam’s waters and respect international law.

Senator Marie-Christine Blandin, Chairwoman of the French Senate’s Committee on Culture, Education and Communication and Vice Chair of the France-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ group, expressed her concern over the escalating tensions in the East Sea. That Chinese ships hit and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat is a dangerous act which oversteps the boundary, she said and demanded that China respect signed agreements and international law and regulations on the sea. “We will stay side by side Vietnam in your struggle to safeguard sovereignty,” she said.

Meanwhile, General Daniel Schaeffer, former advisor of the French Defence Minister and an expert on the East Sea, suggested Vietnam should show the international community the soundness of its actions and demand China respect international law.-VNA