Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Wednesday that Vietnam would continue to protect its sovereignty while asking China not to redeploy its oil rig into Vietnam's waters.
He made the statement while chairing the government’s special legislative session in Hanoi, during which he was updated on the latest movements of China’s illegal Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig.
According to leading officials from the Ministries of Defense, Public Security and Foreign Affairs, on the evening of July 15, China began shifting the rig and its defensive armada toward Hainan island and left Vietnamese waters on the morning of the following day.
On May 2, China illegally positioned the rig and a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft, deep inside Vietnam’s internationally-recognized maritime boundaries. Since then, Chinese ships have intentionally rammed and fired water cannons at Vietnamese vessels, injuring Fisheries Surveillance and Coast Guard officers and sinking a Vietnamese fishing boat.
PM Dung demanded that China pledge to cease such activities in the future, noting that Vietnam has always been and will forever be determined to collectively safeguard its sovereignty through peaceful measures in line with international law.
Vietnam always attaches special importance to the friendship and cooperation it shares with China but only when that relationship is based on equality, mutual respect and benefit, he said.
He noted that the country is willing to hold peaceful negotiations with China and other involved parties to settle its disputes at sea in accordance with international law, Dung said.
The leader praised Vietnam’s law enforcement forces, fishermen and people at home and abroad for resolving to protect Vietnam’s sovereignty.
Vietnam is grateful and wishes to continue receiving support from the international community for the country’s position, he added.