Vietnam has asked the United Nations to circulate a diplomatic note it sent to the Chinese foreign ministry on May 4 to protest the illegal deployment of a drilling rig in its territorial waters.
The request was made by Vietnam’s permanent mission to the United Nations to the organization’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on May 28, Vietnam News Agency reported.
The UN head was urged to circulate the note as an official document during the 68th session of the General Assembly.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent the diplomatic note to Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning China’s operation of the deep-water Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig in block 143 of Vietnam's continental shelf since May 1.
During two bilateral conferences held on May 2, Vietnam reaffirmed and emphasized that the area where the oil rig and other Chinese protection vessels are operating constitutes Vietnamese waters.
Chinese envoys replied that the operation of the oil rig represents a normal oil and gas operation in the southern area of what it calls “Zhongjian dao” (i.e. Tri Ton island) of “Xisha” Islands (i.e. the Hoang Sa archipelago) and has nothing to do with Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.
The note, dated May 4, protested China’s refusal to end violations of Vietnam’s sovereignty and exclusive economic zone vis-a-vis the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which both Vietnam and China are signatories.
It further stated that China's incursion into the East Sea infringes upon Vietnam’s sovereignty as enshrined by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 and violate the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea of 2002 (DOC) and other relevant agreements reached between high-level leaders of the two countries as well as the “Vietnam-China Agreement on Basic Principles Guiding the Settlement of Maritime Issues."
Vietnam has presented historical evidence of its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa archipelago and demanded that China respect and recognize them. Despite these appeals, China has neither withdrawn its rig nor its service and protection vessels.
Vietnam attaches great importance to the friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership with China and is willing to peacefully settle all disputes and differences concerning sea-related issues between the two countries through bilateral negotiations that comply with the spirit of the country's treaty negotiations.