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Vietnam asks China to withdraw oil rig

Publication Date : 07-05-2014


Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh spoke on the phone with Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi yesterday afternoon to discuss the issue of Chinese drilling rig HD-981 and its ships operating in Vietnam's waters.

During their conversation, Minh stressed that China's unilateral move bringing of the rig and a large number of vessels,

including military ships, to operate in oil and gas Lot 143 on Vietnam's continental shelf was illegal and contrary to international law and practice.

He said the move had seriously violated Vietnam's sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago and its sovereign right and jurisdiction over the country's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

He added that the act also negatively affected political trust and cooperation between the two countries and hurt the Vietnamese people.

"Vietnam cannot accept and resolutely opposes China's act" Minh said, adding that Vietnam was demanding that China completely

withdraw the drilling rig and escort vessels from the area and hold talks to settle differences on the issue.

He affirmed that Vietnam had full legal and historical evidence attesting its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos and sovereign right and jurisdiction over the country's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in accordance with regulations in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Vietnam will take all suitable and necessary measures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests, he added.

Minh declared that Vietnam was always willing to solve differences through talks, dialogues and peaceful measures and that the country consistently follows agreements on fundamental principles guiding the settlement of issues at sea in line with regulations and realities of international law, especially the UNCLOS.

Earlier on Sunday, Deputy Foreign Minister and head of the Vietnamese Government negotiation delegation on border and territory Ho Xuan Son discussed the issue over the phone with his Chinese counterpart Liu Zhenmin.

Also on Sunday, representatives from the Foreign Ministry met representatives of the Chinese Embassy in Hanoin and handed over a ministerial diplomatic note to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The note affirmed that the activities of China's drilling rig HD-981 and vessels seriously infringed on Vietnam's sovereignty,

sovereign right and jurisdiction over Vietnam's Hoang Sa archipelago, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. They also seriously violated agreements reached by the two countries' leaders and went against the spirit and wording of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and related regulations in international law.

The note demanded that China "immediately withdraw the drilling rig, vessels, equipment and personnel from Lot 143 in Vietnam's continental shelf and prevent the recurrence of similar acts."


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