HA NOI — Viet Nam strongly protests and requests that China cease the invitation of international bids for oil and gas lots within Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Luong Thanh Nghi yesterday.
Nghi made the statement after the China National Offshore Oil Corporation invited international bidders in nine oil and gas lots on June 23.
The spokesperson said: "First of all, it is necessary to affirm that the area where the China National Offshore Oil Corporation put out for international bidding lies entirely within Viet Nam's 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. This is absolutely not a disputed area."
Nghi stressed that the invitation of bids for an area in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf by China was an illegal and void activity that seriously violated Viet Nam's sovereign rights, jurisdiction right and legitimate national interest as well as the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to which China itself is a member. He added that the move complicated the situation and caused further tensions in the East Sea.
Viet Nam strongly condemned and requested that China cease the wrongful bid invitation, take no further actions that could complicate the situation in the East Sea and expand disputes, strictly comply with the agreement on the basic principles guiding the implementation of Viet Nam-China sea issues, and respect international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, concluded the spokesperson. — VNS