The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held an international press conference in Hanoi on June 16 to clarify China’s wrongful, groundless allegations of the current situation in the East Sea made on June 13 and provide fresh developments there.
Vice Chairman of the
National Boundary Commission Tran Duy Hai stated that Vietnam has made
every effort and shown every gesture of goodwill to solve the current
tension in the East Sea, which was sparked by China’s illegal placement
of its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Vietnam’s waters, via negotiations
and peaceful solutions but China has responded in an unconstructive
China has not only failed to respond to Vietnam’s goodwill but come up with baseless accusations that have distorted the facts and slandered Vietnamese ships of ramming against Chinese vessels more than 1,500 times, he said, adding that China has not provided any real proof to support its accusations.
Meanwhile, according to Hai, Vietnam has publicised many pieces of evidence, by photos and video clips, capturing China’s aggressive, violent acts such as ramming against and firing water cannons at Vietnam’s ships, sinking a Vietnamese fishing boat, and injuring tens of Vietnamese people.
“Once again, Vietnam resolutely demands China respect international law, immediately stop violations of the sovereign right and jurisdiction of Vietnam in its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, withdraw the Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig and escort vehicles from Vietnam’s waters, and never repeat similar acts in the future,” he stressed.
Vietnam continues to request China to solve all disputes through peaceful means in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), he added.
Nguyen Quoc Thap, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group, declared that it is completely groundless and void for China to state that Vietnam ’s 57 oil and gas lots are in disputed waters basing on its “U-shaped line” claim that was not recognised internationally.
He added that China is intentionally turning undisputed areas into disputed ones with reasonless claims.
In fact, these lots are totally within Vietnam’s 200-nautical mile continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, he affirmed.
This is not the first time China has conducted illegal activities violating Vietnam’s waters. Vietnam has opposed China’s previous violations via the diplomatic channel along with protesting in the field and launching communication campaigns to make it understand and not repeat similar violations.
Regarding the current situation at the site, Ngo Ngoc Thu, Deputy Commander of the Vietnam Coast Guard High Command, confirmed that Vietnam has not sent any frogmen to the site nor dropped any object there.
Nets and floating things fished out by Chinese ships were those left by Vietnamese fishing boats operating normally in Vietnam’s waters escaping from intimidation of Chinese vessels, said Thu.
Debris that were collected and brazenly claimed as evidence by the Chinese side were fragments from Vietnamese boats after being rammed and fired high-pressure water cannon at by Chinese ships, he added.
Although Chinese ships have kept on violently blocking, ramming and firing water cannons at Vietnamese ships, Vietnamese coast guard and fisheries surveillance authorities still practised utmost restraint, trying to avoid any clash with Chinese ships.
Vietnamese vessels have not fired water cannons back at Chinese ships, but only used spoken words to demand China remove its rig and all defending vessels from Vietnam’s waters, noted Thu.
According to Ha Le, Deputy Head of the Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance Department, Vietnamese fisheries surveillance ships at the site continued to keep calm and managed to shun clash with Chinese ships.
They also persistently used all peaceful measures to request China withdraw from Vietnam’s waters that it is violating, he said.
Vietnamese ships will continue their law enforcement missions at sea, resolutely protecting the national sovereignty and safeguarding fishermen in their traditional fishing grounds, Le added.
(Theo Vietnam Plus)