Vietnam's legislators open session focused on Chinese incursion

By Bao Cam, Thanh Nien News

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A Chinese ship blocks a Vietnamese Coast Guard ship from approaching a giant oil rig China illegally positioned over Vietnam's continental shelf early this month. PHOTO: HOANG SON
A National Assembly session opened in Hanoi on Tuesday focusing almost exclusively on China's illegal deployment of an oil rig into Vietnam's territorial waters.
Nguyen Sinh Hung, chairman of the NA, Vietnam’s parliament, noted in his opening remarks that the situation in the East Sea is getting more and more complicated and unpredictable.
“China’s recent deployment of a giant oil rig and its protective armada in Vietnam’s [exclusive economic zone] seriously violates Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty , the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and runs counter to agreements reached by the two countries’ high-ranking leaders,” he said.
During this session, Hung said that the NA will hear and discuss the government’s report on the East Sea situation in the spirit of considering every possible measure to protect Vietnam's sovereignty while maintaining a peaceful and stable environment for development.
Hung also said the body would seek to preserve the traditional friendship between the people of Vietnam and China.
In a report presented at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that the Party and State had repeatedly protested China’s illegal actions and remain determined to protect the country’s legal interests in accordance with international laws and the peace-loving tradition of the Vietnamese people.
The report said Vietnam will continue to beef up security and improve its capacity for self-defense so that it can launch timely responses [to attacks] and further outlined plans to seek access to advanced defense technology and purchase modern weapons and equipment.
In addition, the report expressed Vietnam's intention to strictly punish illegal acts which could affect social order and political security and ensure the safety of foreigners, foreign businesses and organizations in Vietnam.
Nguyen Thien Nhan, chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the country's largest public organization, said in a report presented at the meeting that the Vietnamese people are very unhappy about China’s illegal actions and want the Party and the State to take a firm stance in protecting the country’s sovereignty.
“Vietnamese people have also objected to the “bad people” who incited recent riots in the name of nationalism and want the government to strictly punish illegal acts that may harm foreign investors and tarnish the country’s image,” he said.

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