|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
HA NOI (VNSD) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has demanded China not to return the oil rig or violate Viet Nam's sovereignty or jurisdiction again, saying that Viet Nam was determined to safeguard its sovereignty with combined power and peaceful measures in line with international law.
The prime minister made the statement while chairing the government's special session on law building in Ha Noi yesterday, during which he was updated on the latest developments of China's illegal placement of the Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig in Viet Nam's waters.
China's oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 moved out of Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf at 6.30pm yesterday.
It was 41 nautical miles from its previous position and out of Viet Nam's waters, about 163 nautical miles southwest of China's Hainan island, reported the Viet Nam Coast Guard High Command.
Viet Nam always attached special importance to its friendship and fine co-operation with China on the basis of equality, mutual respect and joint development, PM Dung said, adding the country was willing to, together with China and other parties involved, hold peaceful negotiations and settle disputes at sea in accordance with international law.
The leader praised Viet Nam's law enforcement forces, fishermen and people at home and abroad for their resolve in this fight.
Viet Nam was grateful and wished to continue receiving support from the international community for the country's just stance, he added.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Hai Binh yesterday also responded to the news that China had moved the rig that was illegally placed in Viet Nam's continental shelf and exclusive economic zone in early May.
He said that Viet Nam asked China not to return the Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig or dispatch any other rigs to Viet Nam's waters as prescribed by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in order to create a peaceful and stable environment in the East Sea.
Binh said that since May 2, the rig and a large number of escort ships, including military vessels, had violated the country's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. The rig's location was about 130 nautical miles off the coast of Viet Nam.
Chinese ships had encircled and intentionally rammed on Vietnamese coast guard and fisheries surveillance vessels and fired water cannons at them.
China's actions had injured fisheries administration officers and caused losses for Vietnamese law enforcement authorities at sea, including the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing ship.
The rig started moving north-northwest toward Hainan island at 21:03 on Tuesday at a speed of about 4 to 4.2 nautical miles (nearly 8 kilometres per hour), escorted by nearly 60 vessels of all kinds.
Viet Nam's law enforcement authorities are keeping a close eye on the movement of the rig and escort vessels. — VNS