|Chinese vessels continuously fired water cannons at Vietnamese ships. — VNA/VNS Photo Van Son
HA NOI (VNS) — Individuals and organisations around the world have raised concern about China's illegal placement of an oil rig in Viet Nam's territorial waters.
One Italian politician, Enzo Amendola from the Democratic Party, called for Europe to express stronger concern because the tension was not only threatening peace and stability in the region but might even have an effect on Europe.
In a statement released on Friday, US Congressman Jason Chaffetz said China's unilateral deployment of a State-owned oil rig in the waters of the South China/East Asia Sea off the Paracel Islands was deeply concerning.
"These waters are subject to an ongoing territorial dispute between China and Viet Nam which must be resolved through peaceful negotiation in the appropriate bilateral and multilateral forums," he said.
"This incident is the latest in a series of actions taken by Beijing that have contributed to a growing sense of uneasiness in the region," he said.
The US Congressmen said that when visiting the region recently he found that Vietnamese wanted peace and prosperity.
"I believe the US should strive to live up to its historic role of responsible leadership in the region to secure these blessings for both the American people and the people of the Asia-Pacific," he said.
President of the France-Viet Nam Friendship Parliamentarian Group, Christian Poncelet, criticised China's placement of the Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
In a letter to the Vietnamese Ambassador to France, Duong Chi Dung, Senator Poncelet said China's action was illegal, based on international law, especially the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) adopted at the 1982 Montego Bay Conference.
He said the area where China had stationed its rig was within Viet Nam's EEZ and continental shelf, adding that China's act went against bilateral agreements, saying that China must respect Viet Nam's sovereignty.
Earlier, the Governor of Choisy-le-Roi city in southern Paris, Didier Guillaume, said China's move seriously violated Viet Nam's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and threatened maritime security and safety.
He said he highly valued the determination of the Vietnamese Party, State and people to safeguard their national sovereignty.
Meanwhile, the former mayor of France's Montreuil city Jean-Pierre Brard said at a ceremony marking President Ho Chi Minh's 124th birthday that China should respect its neighbours although they are smaller.
An expert from South Korea, Professor Kim Tae-wan, head of the Political Science Department at Dong-eui University told Vietnam News Agency reporters that China's unilateral act of placing the rig in Viet Nam's EEZ infringed upon the 1982 UNCLOS.
Several Italian parliamentarians have called for China and Viet Nam to seek a peaceful solution in line with international law, particularly the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, to ensure freedom of navigation. — VNS