Sunday, February 5, 2017

Protests staged in Vietnam against China planting oil rig in Vietnamese waters



Protests staged in Vietnam against China planting oil rig in Vietnamese waters
UPDATED : 05/11/2014 
A large number of people gather at the Opera House during a protest in Ho Chi Minh City on May 11, 2014 against China's illegal deployment of oil rig HD 981 to Vietnamese waters in the East Vietnam Sea on May 1.Tuoi Tre

Tens of thousands of Vietnamese people took to the streets on Sunday in Hanoi, Hue City, Da Nang City, and Ho Chi Minh City to protest China’s illegal deployment of a giant oil rig to Vietnamese waters in the East Vietnam Sea.
It is the second day in a row the protestors in Ho Chi Minh City have launched a peaceful demonstration while those in Hanoi, Hue and Da Nang paraded for the first time against China’s aggressive move.
Thousands of HCMC protestors flooded area before the Opera House on Dong Khoi Street in District 1, carrying banners and placards calling for a Vietnamese unity to protect the country’s seas and demanding China respect Vietnam’s territorial waters.
Meanwhile in Hanoi, thousands of people gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy at 46 Hoang Dieu Street to voice their protest against China putting its oil rig in Vietnamese waters.
The demonstrators included elders, veterans, students, office workers, and even children. They sang together the national anthem and revolutionary songs, with or without loudspeakers.
Many started parading very early in the morning, with a lot of demonstrators raising red-colored national flags, placards, and anti-China slogans.
They lifted up such banners and placards as “Sovereignty is sacred and inviolable,” "China must adhere to international law,” "China, immediately remove the oil rig from Vietnam’s territorial waters," "Young Vietnamese people are willing to sacrifice for national defense," “Stand by the State to protect national sovereignty," "Hoang Sa [Paracels] and Truong Sa [Spratlys] are Vietnam’s flesh."
In Hue and Da Nang, people held up many banners condemning China’s provocative and illicit acts, requesting Beijing to withdraw the oil rig from Vietnamese waters immediately.
The protests were organized following the fact that China has illegitimately operated oil rig HD 981 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 Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, 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 archipelago, according to Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Le Hai Binh.
Many of these Chinese vessels repeatedly rammed Vietnamese ships when they were requested by the Vietnamese side to leave Vietnam’s waters, the Vietnamese Coast Guard announced at an international press conference in Hanoi on May 7.
To date, nine Vietnamese fisheries surveillance officers have been injured in such attacks by the Chinese ships.
At the conference in Hanoi, 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 the oil rig continue smashing into the Southeast Asian country’s ships.
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 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.