May, 08 2014 09:10:00

Viet Nam pledges all efforts to protect territorial waters

A Chinese ship (left), protecting an oil rig, attacks a Vietnamese vessel with a water cannon on Viet Nam's continental shelf. — Photo provided at a press conference in Ha Noi yesterday.
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam yesterday reaffirmed that it would take all necessary measures, preferably diplomatic, to protect its waters. This follows increased attacks on Vietnamese vessels near a Chinese oil rig on Viet Nam's continental shelf.

Speaking at an international press conference held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday, Rear Admiral Ngo Ngoc Thu, vice commander of the Viet Nam Coast Guard, said at least six Vietnamese sailors had been injured in the past few days as Chinese ships "intentionally collided and fired water cannons at Vietnamese vessels, causing damage".

Officials admitted the situation was getting more "complicated". China has already dispatched 80 ships to the area, including seven naval vessels, as Viet Nam's demanded the removal of the rig.

According to Tran Duy Hai, Vice Chair of the National Boundary Commission, on May 1, Vietnamese vessels on patrol discovered the Chinese oil rig stationed 130 nautical miles off the coast of Viet Nam. It was about 119 nautical miles off Ly Son Island in Quang Ngai Province, which he said was a clear violation of Viet Nam's sovereignty.

A Vietnamese vessel is seen being damaged after the collision.

"This is clearly an intentional act, seriously violating the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of Viet Nam over its Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf. It also infringes upon the relevant provisions of the international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS and runs counter to the spirit and language of the DOC. China's actions run counter to the agreements and common understanding between the two countries leaders, particularly the agreement on the basic principles guiding the settlement of maritime issues between Viet Nam and China," Hai said.

Viet Nam is also demanding China remove all human resources and ships out of the area and compensate for the damage and injuries it has caused to Vietnamese vessels and sailors, Hai added.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry said it was intensifying all resources to ensure the situation could be settled through diplomatic channels. It added that six working sessions had already been held in Ha Noi and Beijing.

In a phone call on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh also discussed the situation with China's state councillor, Yang Jiechi. Viet Nam is also waiting for China to confirm a possible telephone call between the highest leaders in both countries.

Vietnamese vessels will continue their presence in the area, asking China to remove its ships and oil rig. Vietnamese officials reiterated that Viet Nam would not engage in military action and only engage in "self-defence" activities.

General Director of PetroVietnam Do Van Hau said it was still unclear whether the area where China had its rig had commercial oil.

"We don't have enough assessments of this area even though we have conducted previous researches. However, PetroVietnam does have plan to explore deeper sea area within Vietnamese waters," Hau said.

The situation comes as the ASEAN Summit prepares to go ahead in Myanmar this weekend. ASEAN countries hope to further discuss the completion of a Code of Conduct to prevent tensions in the East Sea.

Le Hai Binh, spokesperson for Viet Nam's Foreign Affairs Ministry, said Viet Nam hoped that the code would present legal advice to enhance naval security and protect the interest of all nations. — VNS

A video of the Chinese ship 44044  intentionally ramming the 4033 Vietnamese vessel in Viet Nam's waters in the East Sea.


Fleming Tempest - furyandtempest@yahoo.com   Fleming Tempest
May, 23 2014 11:35:30
I read about this and was neither shocked or surprised. China economic might and power has grown beyond any of these Asean nations. Thanks to to many countries in the world that buy CHINA made products, set up companies in China to produce cheap products. Thanks to everyone for the contribution to CHINA's economic growth. They have grown from a recluse nation to what it is today. They are flexing their muscles and their might. Welcome the real bully. I will not be surprised if they will force all ASEAN nation to "bow down" to them. ASEAN nations still have a long way to develop. Many of them do need investments and aid. China has even gone another step hoping to replace ADB. This is real economics in modern day battle. They do not need to send any troops, they will just tighten the financial tap and ASEAN nations will suffer. We must defend this threat as a UNITED ASEAN. We must not allow ourselves to be bullied. There will be smaller nations within ASEAN that will oppose to a UNITED ASEAN because they need China to survive. ASEAN ministers must do their utmost to restore balance and restore a UNITED ASEAN. All the best to ASEAN! We need the world to support us.
Robert Fries - scott17110@yahoo.com   Robert Fries
May, 13 2014 23:36:04
How times have changed. Once I fought in Vietnam, largely ignorant of culture, customs and hsitory. "Home is where the heart is". My heart and home is in Vietnam. Living here, I came to appreciate and admire the indomitable spirit of the Vietnamese people. How many nations can claim to have defeated all major powers at all times in their history? Today I am willing to fight for Vietnam. As in the past, I am certain Vietnam will prevail as any setbacks will only steel their determination.
jeff - vietnamjeff69@yahoo.com   jeff
May, 13 2014 11:54:58
For many years, when i heard people, especially europeans, speaking ill of america and americans, i would simply smile and say to them, "If you don't like america and americans, just wait... until china rules the world." Just wait, this is only the beginning.
William - wilsyeo65@gmail.com   William
May, 13 2014 11:11:46
I am from Singapore and I fully support the Vietnamese people to defend their sovereignty. China is a bully thinking that they are above the laws and have all the rights to steals from their neighbour.
tuandq - tuandq.hust@gmail.com   abc@gmail.com
May, 09 2014 10:52:21
We have to continue the patriotic tradition of Vietnamese people to deserve to be Vietnamese.
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