The Vietnamese government leader, Nguyen Tan Dung, has called on ASEAN countries to consolidate solidarity and reaffirm what was stated in the Six-Point Principles on the East Vietnam Sea.
>> ASEAN foreign ministers concerned about tensions in East Vietnam Sea
Prime Minister Dung made the call on Sunday when he was addressing the 24th ASEAN Summit in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.
The bloc should request China to respect coastal states’ sovereignty over their continental shelves and 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zones, and comply with international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Vietnamese premier said.
The Vietnamese government leader added that China should strictly implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC) and work with ASEAN to build a Code of Conduct in the sea.
PM Dung told the summit that on May 1, China deployed a deep sea drilling rig escorted by more than 80 armed ships, military vessels and aircraft in Vietnam’s waters, and then positioned the platform over 80 nautical miles inside the Southeast Asian country’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.
This is the first time China has boldly planted a drilling rig well inside an ASEAN member country’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, PM Dung said, adding that this act has seriously violated international law, the 1982 UNCLOS, and the DOC to which China itself is a signatory.
In addition, he said, China’s extremely hazardous move has directly threatened peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Vietnam Sea.
The Vietnamese PM emphasized that Vietnam has practiced restraint, showed goodwill, and used all dialog channels to communicate with the Chinese authorities of different levels to protest and demand China remove the rig from Vietnamese waters.
However, China has so far made no response to these legitimate requests, and has instead slandered and blamed Vietnam, while continuing to intensify its violating acts, he noted.
PM Dung added that Vietnam strongly protests China’s violations and will resolutely protect its national sovereignty and legitimate interests in accordance with international law.
He urged ASEAN members, countries around the world and international organizations to support the legal and legitimate request of Vietnam and oppose China’s acts.
In their joint statement on the East Vietnam Sea tension issued on May 10, ASEAN foreign ministers expressed the solidarity, activeness, and high responsibility of the bloc toward peace, stability, and security in the region.