Vietnam preparing to sue China over oil rig: house speaker

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Nguyen Hanh Phuc, spokesman of Vietnam legislature, speaking to reporters May 24 on the sidelines of a house meeting over conflicts with Chinese oil rig. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre Nguyen Hanh Phuc, spokesman of Vietnam legislature, speaking to reporters May 24 on the sidelines of a house meeting over conflicts with Chinese oil rig. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre

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The spokesman for Vietnam's national legislature has announced that the country is taking its final steps toward filing an international lawsuit against China for towing an oil rig into Vietnamese waters and attacking Vietnamese vessels.
Vietnam is finalizing the documents necessary to file a suit in international court according to Nguyen Hanh Phuc, the chief of staff of Vietnam's National Assembly, who made the announcement to reporters on the sidelines of a legislative meeting held Saturday.
“If China makes no move to pull its oil rig out of Vietnamese waters, we have to act,” Tuoi Tre quoted Phuc as saying.
And by acting, he said, he means taking peaceful, diplomatic measures in accordance with international law.
“I’m confident we have enough historical and legal evidence,” he said.
China placed the US$1-billion Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig over in Vietnam’s continental shelf on May 2 and has since sent dozens of boats (including military vessels) to guard it.
The protective flotilla round the rig has fired water cannons and rammed Vietnamese police and surveillance boats dispatched to intervene. 
“It’s time China change its analysis of this situation. What will the world think of a country that behaves in this way? China must reconsider its actions or face self-imposed isolation.”
 Vietnamese leaders, including Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, have called for international support in pushing China to step back.
“It’s time China change its analysis of this situation. What will the world think of a country that behaves in this way? China must reconsider its actions or face self-imposed isolation.”
Vietnam has also issued statements of gratitude to the countries that have leant their support, including the US, Japan and the Philippines.
Phuc dismissed rumors that a group of Vietnamese legislators are meeting with their Chinese counterparts to discuss the matter.
He said several lawmakers have proposed to beefing up the nation's defense forces, which he considered a reasonable move given the circumstances.
However, he also warned that, in order to have peace, Vietnamese forces need to be as patient as it takes.
“We love peace. We wish for a friendly relationship between the Chinese and Vietnamese people. I consider the Chinese community in Vietnam Vietnamese people and I think they support cause.”
He said that in spite of the protests which spiraled into violent riots, many Chinese workers have expressed their wish to stay in Vietnam and continue working.

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