|Prime Minister at the World Economic Forum meeting in Manila. — Photo VNA
HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has said that Viet Nam would resolutely defend its sovereignty and legitimate interests because territorial sovereignty, including over its maritime zones and islands, is sacred.
The PM made the statement in response to questions from the Associated Press and Reuters on the current developments in the East Sea, and Viet Nam's measures following China's illegal deployment of an oil rig in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone.
Dung is currently in Manila for the World Economic Forum on East Asia 2014 and to visit leaders of the Philippines.
When asked whether Viet Nam would file a petition against China under the mechanisms of international law or solve the tensions by military means, the PM stated: "Viet Nam has endured untold suffering and losses from past invasive wars. We always desire peace and friendship to build and develop the country. We are never the first to use military means and would never unilaterally start a military confrontation unless we were forced to take self-defending actions."
Viet Nam consistently used peaceful solutions and had sought every opportunity and dialogue channel to settle the situation in a peaceful manner, he noted.
"We have always shown goodwill and exercised our utmost restraint, but the response is China's increasingly threatening and violating actions and its continued slander and blame of Viet Nam," Dung said.
"There is a vast gap between the words and deeds of China," he said, adding that China's acts in Viet Nam's waters in recent days were extremely dangerous and seriously threatened peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation, co-operation and development in the region and the world.
"We are thirsty for peace and friendship, but it must be based on ensuring independence, self-reliance, sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will never barter these sacred things for an unrealisable and dependent peace and friendship," he declared.
Like all countries, Viet Nam was considering various defence options, including legal action, in accordance with international law, he said.
Responding to a question on the possibility of Viet Nam joining forces with an ally to deal with this situation, Dung said Viet Nam would not join any military alliance against another country. This is the country's consistent foreign policy, which has been shown to the world many times.
He said that Viet Nam had provided accurate information on China's illegal installation of its Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf for international organisations, governments, foreign politicians, scholars and the world media.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, leaders of many countries, individuals and organisations around the globe have expressed deep concerns about the threat of China's actions to peace, security and stability in the region.
"I believe that the international community will continue to make correct assessments of the situation and add their voices to prevent this serious threat," he said, adding that Viet Nam called on the international community, countries, individuals and organisations to continue their strong opposition to China's violation of international law.
Regarding relations between Viet Nam and China following the latter's illegal act, the PM stressed that Viet Nam was deeply aware of the friendship and mutually beneficial co-operation between the two countries, as it not only assisted their basic and long-term interests, but also contributed to peace, stability, co-operation and development in the region and the world.
He reiterated that Viet Nam attached special importance to its fine friendship and co-operation with China, and would always try to strengthen and preserve it. The country wishes, together with China, to solve disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, equality and mutual respect.
"Viet Nam strongly opposes China's illegal rig placement in Vietnamese waters and will firmly protect its national sovereignty and legitimate interests in accordance with international law," he finished. — VNS