|Hundreds of Vietnamese people living in Washington DC and surrounding areas gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy on Sunday to protest China's illegal placement of the Haiyang Shiyou-981 drilling rig in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.— VNA/VNS Photo Quang Hoa
HA NOI (VNS) — Hundreds of Vietnamese people living in Washington DC and surrounding areas gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy on Sunday to protest China's illegal placement of the Haiyang Shiyou-981 drilling rig in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.
The Vietnamese Entrepreneurs' Association also set up a website in English to spread the word about the illegality of China's nine-dotted line in the East Sea, said David Huy Ho, President of the Vietnamese Entrepreneurs' Association in the US and head of the organising board. The association also plans to collect 100,000 signatures to send to the US Congress to oppose the line.
The same day, nearly 100 overseas Vietnamese and foreigners from New York and Boston (Massachusetts State) attended a meeting in front of the Chinese representative mission in New York to raise their voices against China's aggressive acts.
Merle Ratner, a social activist for peace in the US, said China's positioning of the drilling rig in Viet Nam's waters violated international law and threatened peace and stability in the region.
She affirmed her backing for Viet Nam as Viet Nam is a peace-loving nation, which always commits to solving disputes by peaceful means.
Vietnamese students in the country also sent letters to President Barack Obama and the US Senate to call on the US government and international community to voice objection to China's actions in Viet Nam's waters.
China keeps more than 90 ships around oil rig
HA NOI — China continued to hold more than 90 vessels around its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou – 981, which is still illegally stationed in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone, reported the Viet Nam Coast Guard yesterday.
Maritime activity continued near the rig, with Chinese coast guard 2506 persistently tailing Viet Nam's coast guard ship 8001 within a distance of 1-2 nautical miles. Meanwhile, a fleet of Chinese fishing boats proceeded to approach and intimidate wooden boats occupied by Vietnamese fishermen.
At 9:06am, a Chinese fighter jet JH-7 was discovered flying over Vietnamese coast guard ships at an altitude of 700-1,000m. The fighter jet made four turns before heading north. Later at 11:30am, Chinese helicopter B-3808 was seen prowling 250m above Vietnamese coast guard ship 8003.
While undertaking a communications mission 6-6.5 nautical miles from the oil rig, Vietnamese coast guard ships were intercepted by three Chinese ships, which proceeded to fire water cannons at them.
The Vietnamese Coast Guard ship 8003 was also approached by six other Chinese vessels demonstrating ready-to-attack moves. — VNS
The Czech-Viet Nam Society sent a statement to the Chinese Embassy in the Czech Republic voicing its objection over China's illegal placement of an oil rig in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone.
Issued on May 17, the statement noted that China had deployed a large number of escort ships and airplanes to the area, which intentionally fired high-pressure water cannons and rammed into Vietnamese law enforcement ships, causing damage and injuring Vietnamese law enforcement and fisheries surveillance officers.
The statement asserted that such behaviours violated Viet Nam's sovereignty and international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to which China is a signatory, and at the same time further complicated the situation and threatened peace, stability and freedom of navigation in the East Sea.
The society asked China to immediately stop its illegal activities, remove the rig from Viet Nam's waters and never repeat similar acts in the future.
It also expressed full support for the efforts and solutions taken by the Vietnamese Government, agencies and citizens to protect their legal sovereignty through peaceful means in line with international law.
Meanwhile, around 1,000 Vietnamese expatriates in the UK congregated at an area opposite the Chinese Embassy in London on Sunday to protest China's wrongful acts in the East Sea.
In France on Saturday, nearly 2,000 Vietnamese and others thronged Paris streets to show their displeasure at China's actions on Saturday.
They marched through Trocadero Square carrying the Vietnamese flag and banners in Vietnamese, English, French and Chinese.
These called for China's withdrawal of its oil rig from Viet Nam's waters and respect for international law.
Helene Luc, president of the France-Viet Nam Friendship Association, said she totally opposed China's invasion of Viet Nam's waters.
Meanwhile, Andre Mendras, the first French person granted Vietnamese nationality, condemned China's attacks.
About 200 Vietnamese in Cambodia held a meeting in the capital last, Phnom Penh, last Friday to protest against China's violation of Viet Nam's sovereignty.
Chairman of the Vietnamese Cambodian Association, Chau Van Chi, said protesters issued a statement demanding China unconditionally and immediately remove its oil rig and surrounding vessels out of Viet Nam's waters, and voiced their willingness to join their fellows at home to protect the country.
Expert speaks out
Wilfried Lulei, a professor of Asian Studies, confirmed that China's placement of its Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig was a serious violation of international law, radio The Voice of Vietnam (VOV) reported.
China's flagrant violations of international law have been the focus of opposition from many regional countries and those around the world.
Lulei said China's move flew in the face of the justified and rightful territorial sovereignty claims and interests of Viet Nam and other Southeast Asian countries.
He also voiced support for Viet Nam's proposals that China immediately stop its actions on the basis of respect for the UN 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed by China and ASEAN countries in 2002.
In response to China's aggressive acts disregarding Viet Nam's proper proposals, Lulei stated that diverging opinions among countries on the sovereign rights and claims over Hoang Sa (Paracels) and Truong Sa (Spratlys) archipelagos could not be solved by force, but only through peaceful negotiations.
To resolve disagreements, it was imperative to conduct bilateral dialogues between Viet Nam and China as well as multilateral negotiations with the participation of other countries directly concerned and those touched upon by economic, political benefits as well as security, Lulei noted.— VNS