Protesters stage a demonstration in Ho Chi Minh City to decry Beijing's deployment of a deep-water drilling rig in Vietnamese waters. PHOTO: VIETNAM NEWS AGENCY
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of External Relations summoned the Chinese Consul General on Monday to protest China’s deployment of a giant drilling rig and a virtual armada of civilian and military vessels into Vietnam’s territorial waters.
Nguyen Hong Linh, the department’s director, told Consul-General Chai Wenrui that China’s unilateral actions violate international laws and practices, seriously violate Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, its exclusive economic zone and its continental shelf.
Linh said the act also badly damaged political trust and cooperation between the two countries and has hardened the feelings of Vietnamese people against China.
He stressed that Vietnam has enough legal and historical foundations to affirm its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Vietnam will take any necessary and appropriate measures to protect its legal rights and interests.
Vietnam has historically taken great pains to resolve disputes through diplomacy.
It holds that all sea disputes should be resolved in accordance with international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Linh said.
China and four members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) including Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei all claim territory in the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea. China's claim is the largest, covering most of the sea's 648,000 square miles (1.7 million square km).
Furthermore, he said, it's a claim has been emphatically rejected by international scholars.
Tensions between Hanoi and Beijing resurfaced last week when the state-run China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) moved a US$1-billion oil rig into Vietnam's exclusive economic zone.
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