China must stop its provocative acts and violation of Vietnam’s sea and island sovereignty immediately, the Vietnam Journalists Association (VJA) said Sunday in a statement.
After China illegally placed its Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig in Vietnam’s waters on May 1, VJA president Thuan Huu sent a letter to the chairman of the All-China Journalists Association Shao Huaze on May 10, strongly protesting against China’s infringement of Vietnam’s sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction, the statement said.
In the letter, the VJA president also demanded that China immediately end its illegal actions and withdraw the rig together with its escort ships and aircraft from Vietnamese waters.
However, China has not only continued maintaining the rig since then but also taken even more dangerous and serious actions such as using large vessels to ram Vietnamese ships, damaging many local boats and their equipment as well as jeopardizing the lives of Vietnamese citizens on board.
Moreover, China has loudly slandered and blamed Vietnam for the current tension in the East Vietnam Sea, the VJA statement said.
The VJA pointed out in the document that seven Chinese vessels surrounded Vietnamese fisheries surveillance ship KN-951 on June 23.
These foreign ships then purposely crashed into and fired high-powered water cannons at the local boat while it was enforcing law in the area within Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.
Earlier on June 1, Chinese ships repeatedly fired water cannons at and violently hit ship 2016 of the Vietnam Coast Guard, creating four holes on its right side.
On May 26, Chinese ship #11209 sank a fishing boat belonging to Vietnamese fishermen who were working in their traditional fishing ground near Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago.
These dangerous acts escalated tension in the area, harming the sentiment between the two peoples and threatening peace, stability, and maritime security and safety in the East Vietnam Sea, the statement affirmed.
The VJA said it strongly denounces China’s provocative acts and requests Beijing to remove the Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig from Vietnam’s waters immediately.
The association also calls on the international press community, including the Chinese press, to condemn the dangerous Chinese actions which have broken international law – including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) – and violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.
The VJA also underlined Vietnam’s stance on resolving disputes by peaceful means based international law, equality, and mutual respect.