HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam has welcomed US Senate Resolution 412 calling on China to withdraw its oil rig and associated maritime forces from the East Sea.
The resolution demands that the Chinese return immediately to the status quo as it existed before May 1.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said this yesterday in reply to reporters' questions regarding the US Senate's approval of Resolution 412 on Thursday.
The resolution calls for the "strong support of the United States Government for freedom of navigation and other internationally lawful uses of sea and airspace in the Asia-Pacific region, and for the peaceful diplomatic resolution of outstanding territorial and maritime claims and disputes".
Binh said Viet Nam hoped nations inside and outside the region would continue to make strong and effective contributions to peace and freedom of navigation and aviation in the region.
At the beginning of May, China illegally dispatched the rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 as well as a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft to Viet Nam's waters.
It positioned the rig 80 nautical miles in Viet Nam's continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.
Despite Vietnamese protests, China expanded its scale of operation and moved the rig to a new position in Vietnamese waters.
China yesterday sent six military ships to the site where the rig is illegally standing inside Viet Nam's continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, according to the Viet Nam Fisheries Surveillance Department.
Between 103-110 Chinese ships of all kinds operated in the waters around the rig throughout the day. They again lined up and moved close to Vietnamese ships to prevent them from getting near the rig. — VNS