Diplomatic activities to safeguard sacred sovereignty
15:03 | 08/06/2014
VGP – A series of diplomatic activities took place in May to affirm the justice and peace-loving stance of Viet Nam and its determination to protect the sacred sovereignty via peaceful measures in accordance with international laws and seek external support.

Since May 1, 2014, China has deployed over 80 armed and military ships and aircrafts to accompany a drilling rig which was illegally installed in Viet Nam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf (CS) in accordance with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. 

The Chinese ships fired water cannons at and intentionally crashed into the Vietnamese vessels, leading to property damages and human injuries.

This is the first time China blatantly sent and installed an oil rig deeply inside EEZ and CS of an ASEAN member state. The move seriously violates the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) to which China is a signatory.

The extremely dangerous action has directly threatened peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation in the East Sea.

Right after the incident, leaders of the Party, State, Government, National Assembly, mass organizations and strata have taken various actions to affirm the justice and peace-loving stance, the determination to protect the sacred sovereignty via peaceful measures in accordance with international laws and seek the international community’s support.

Highlighting justice at multilateral forums

In his keynote speeches at the 24th ASEAN Summit in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar and the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Manila, the Philippines, PM Nguyen Tan Dung frankly condemned the unruly and provocative acts of China in the East Sea. 

PM Dung clearly pointed out that the Chinese actions seriously violate the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

“The extremely dangerous action by China has threatened directly peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation in the East Sea,” said PM Dung.

He also underlined that Viet Nam totally opposes violation actions and is determined to protect the national sovereignty and its legitimate rights in accordance with international law.   

PM Dung urgently called on ASEAN member states, other countries, individuals and international organizations to continue voicing their opposition to China's aforesaid violations and back the legitimate demand of Viet Nam.

In the fifth month, other high-ranking officials also delivered speeches at international forums to condemn China’s illegal placement of the oil rig in Viet Nam’s waters and demand China withdraw the oil rig.

Vice State President Nguyen Thi Doan on May 21 attended the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in China’s Shanghai. Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam on May 22 partook in the 20th International Conference on The Future of Asia in Tokyo, Japan. Minister of National Defense Phung Quang Thanh joined the 13th Asia Security Summit commonly known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, in Singapore.  

The Representative of Viet Nam to the United Nations sent to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Note addressed to China to oppose China’s illegal installation of the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 in Viet Nam’s EEZ and CS.

During bilateral contacts

Vietnamese leaders also had a string of bilateral contacts with their counterparts and leaders of foreign countries, leaders of international organizations to highlight Viet Nam’s consistent viewpoint to resolve the East Sea issue and seek support from the international community. 

On the sidelines of the 24th ASEAN Summit and the WEF on East Asia 2014, PM Nguyen Tan Dung met with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Philippines’ President Benigno S. Aquino to express deep concerns about the dangerous situation in the East Sea. 

Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam thanked Japan and Singapore for voicing their support for Viet Nam after China illegally placed its oil rig in Viet Nam’s EEZ and CS during his separate meeting with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong on the sidelines of the 20th International Conference on The Future of Asia. 

Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh held telephone talks with State Council Yang Jiechi and Chinese FM Wang Yi to lodge protests against China and demand China immediately withdraw the oil rig and ships from Viet Nam’s waters. 

The Deputy PM also talked on phone with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Indonesian FM Marty Natalegawa, Singaporean FM K. Shanmugam, Russian FM Sergei Lavrov, EU High Representative on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton to inform Viet Nam’s diplomatic endeavor to reduce tensions in the East Sea. 

At international media front

Beside multilateral and bilateral channels, Vietnamese leaders also directly informed international press agencies about the real situation in the East Sea and Viet Nam’s stance.

Specifically, PM Nguyen Tan Dung on May 21 in Manila, the Philippines granted an interview to the US Associate Press about the recent developments in the East Sea as well as Viet Nam’s measures.

PM Dung said that “Viet Nam has been consistent in pursuing peaceful means by making use of every opportunity, every dialogue channel to peacefully settle the current situation. However, the response from China has been an increase of force and acts of intimidation and violation, and repeated slanders to blame on Viet Nam. There is a vast gap between the words and deeds of China”.   

We always want peace and friendship but this must ensure independence, self-reliance, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and maritime zones. These are sacred and we will never trade them off for some kind of elusive, dependent peace and friendship, the Government chief reiterated.

In May 30, PM Dung also granted an interview to Bloomberg about the socio-economic situation in Viet Nam in the first five months of this year and China’s illegal placement of the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981.

Deputy FM Pham Quang Vinh and Vietnamese Ambassador to the US separately granted interviews with the CNN to object China’s wrong allegations.

In May, the Foreign Ministry also held four international press conferences to inform the public and international community about real situation in the East Sea, condemn China for violating Viet Nam’s  sovereignty and timely oppose the incorrect arguments from the Chinese side./.

By Huong Giang  

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