Vietnam to take suitable responses in oil rig row: ministry

By Minh Sang - Ha An, Thanh Nien News

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A Chinese ship blasts water cannon at a Vietnamese ship to protect its illegal oil rig in Vietnam's water.
Vietnam continues to demand China to withdraw its oil rig, ships and aircrafts out of Vietnam’s territorial waters and has sent a diplomatic note to the United Nations protesting China’s incursion, the foreign ministry said.
“Vietnam demand China to withdraw the oil rig Haiyan 981 and all of its ships and aircrafts from Vietnam’s waters and not to repeat similar actions,” Vietnamese Ministry of Affairs spokesman Le Hai Binh said at a press briefing Thursday (May 15).
Vietnam will take all measures in line with international law to protect its legitimate rights and interests, the government website quoted Binh as saying.
Hundreds of local and international reporters arrived at the ministry’s regular press conference almost an hour before it began at 3 p.m.
Binh said Vietnam sent a diplomatic note on May 7 to the United Nations to protest China’s oil rig in Vietnam’s waters.
Over the past days, Vietnam has maintained dialogues with China at different levels to oppose China’s illegal acts but regretfully, China has maintained and expanded its illegal acts by deploying more ships and aircraft to the site in response, the government website reported.
While Vietnamese civil ships have been restrained, China continued its aggressions by deploying ships and aircrafts to threaten Vietnamese sea law enforcement vessels and firing water cannons at them, inflicting damage to the vessels and injuries on some crew members, it said.
Binh said China has worsened the complicated situation in the region, seriously affecting peace, stability, security, marine freedom of navigation and regional cooperation and development, at a time while other countries in the region and the world are trying to seek for peaceful solutions for disputes and heading towards the Code of Conducts of parties in the sea.
He thanked to countries, international organizations and individuals for protesting China’s serious violations of Vietnam’s sovereignty.
Answering a question on whether China are increasing military presence in Vietnam’s northern border, Binh said he does not have information about that. "Bilateral trading activities [across the border] are taking place as normal,” he said.
Asked whether Vietnam has “levels of restraint” in the case, he said Vietnam will take all measures according to international law to protect its legitimate rights and that Vietnam will react suitably to actual progress.
Binh said the destruction of properties of some foreign companies, including Chinese companies, were the activities of some inciters which have been condemned by Vietnamese government and a majority of Vietnamese residents.
“Vietnam has been keen on dialogues with China to solve the situation on East Sea,” he said.

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