Vietnamese leader urges ASEAN to strengthen solidarity over East Sea issue

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has called on ASEAN countries to strengthen solidarity and strongly reaffirm the principles stated in the Six-Point Principles on the East Sea at the 24th ASEAN Summit in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

PM Nguyen Tan Dung at the summit (Photo: VNA)

The PM said the association should request China to abide by international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), respecting coastal state’s sovereignty over continental shelf and 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.

China should fully and strictly implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and work with ASEAN to build a Code of Conduct in the East Sea, he stressed.

PM Dung reiterated that from 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 positioned the rig over 80 nautical miles inside the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of Vietnam.

The Chinese armed ships aggressively fired strong water cannons and rammed into Vietnamese civil ships, damaging the vessels and injuring many crewmen, he noted.

PM Dung said that 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, seriously violating international law, the 1982 UNCLOS, and the DOC, to which China itself is a signatory member.

China’s extremely hazardous move has directly threatened peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Sea, he underscored.

PM Dung made it clear that Vietnam has practiced restraint, showed goodwill, and used all dialogue channels with different Chinese ranking levels to protest and demand China remove the rig from Vietnam’s 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 in a more serious manner, he noted.

The Vietnamese PM highlighted that Vietnam attaches special importance and always does it utmost to maintain and strengthen friendship with China.

Vietnam has always been sincere and wished to work with China in settling all disputes though peaceful measures on the basis of respecting international law, equality and mutual respect for the interests of the two peoples and for peace and stability in the region and the world, he emphasised.

However, Vietnam strongly protests China’s move of violating its sovereignty and will resolutely protect its national sovereignty and legitimate interest in accordance with international law, PM Dung declared.

He also called on ASEAN members, countries around the world and international organisations to continue raising their voices to protest China’s act and support the legal and legitimate request of Vietnam .

PM Dung requested ASEAN to add the East Sea issue to the Summit ’s Declaration and Chairman’s Statement of the 24th ASEAN Summit.

The joint statement of ASEAN foreign ministers on the East Sea tension on May 10 has clearly manifested the solidarity, the important role, the activeness and high responsibility of ASEAN towards peace, stability and security in the region, PM Dung stressed.

Source: VNA

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