Saturday, May 10, 2014

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Haiyang 981, get out of Vietnam now

The people in Ho Chi Minh City launched a peaceful demonstration and parade against China’s illegal operation of an oil rig in Vietnam’s waters on Saturday morning.

The event kicked off at 9 am today, May 10, in front of the Chinese Consulate General at 175 Hai Ba Trung Street, District 1.
The demonstrators waved a large number of flags of Vietnam and banners written in Vietnamese, Chinese and English.
Some of these the banners read: “Haiyang 981, get out of Vietnam now,” “Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes belong to Vietnam,” Vietnam asks for peace, China answers with war,” “China violates international laws,” and “Drilling rig HD 981 must be removed from the East Vietnam Sea.”
The protestors chanted some slogans, including “Vietnam -Ho Chi Minh”. They also sang some traditional Vietnamese songs.
The demonstration ended at about 9:30 am the same day.

The event was organized following the fact that China has illicitly operated the oil rig in a location of 15°29’58’’ North latitude and 111°12’06’’ East longitude in Vietnam's waters in the East Vietnam Sea since May 1, and deployed nearly 80 vessels including warships to guard the rig.
This location of the drilling rig is completely within the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam, about 119 nautical miles (221 km) from Ly Son Island off the central Vietnamese province of Quang Ngai and 18 nautical miles south of Tri Ton Island of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, according to Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Le Hai Binh.
Many of  these Chinese vessels have rammed Vietnamese ships when they were requested by the Vietnamese side to leave the Vietnamese waters.
To date, nine Vietnamese fisheries surveillance officers have been injured in such attacks by Chinese ships, the fisheries surveillance sub-team 3 in central Da Nang City reported.
At an international press conference in Hanoi on May 7, Ngo Ngoc Thu, Vice Commander and Chief of Staff of Vietnam’s Coast Guard, said that  Vietnam’s marine forces will respond with similar actions if the Chinese vessels that have encroached on Vietnamese waters to escort a Chinese oil rig there continue smashing into the Southeast Asian country’s ships.
Thu said the Vietnamese Coast Guard and fisheries surveillance forces had tried to restrain themselves from the attacks by the Chinese ships.
“But any restraint has its limit. If these ships continue ramming our vessels, we will take the same actions against them,” Thu said.
On May 6, during a phone call with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi regarding the illegal operation of the oil rig, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh said, “Vietnam cannot accept and resolutely opposes China’s act, and demands that China move the drilling rig and escort vessels out of the area before holding talks to resolve differences around the issue.”
Vietnam has full legal and historical evidence to prove its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos and the 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), the Vietnamese official who is also Foreign Minister said.


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