The United States Department of State said on August 22 that it is deeply concerned about China’s interference in Vietnam’s longstanding oil and gas activities in Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) claim.
|A Vietnam Coast Guard ship is on mission around the DK1/15 oil rig.|
The department expressed the concern after China’s survey vessel group Haiyang Dizhi 8 returned to Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.
In its announcement, the department stressed China’s action called to serious question Beijing’s commitment to peaceful resolution of maritime disputes.
China’s redeployment of a government-owned survey vessel, together with armed escorts, into Vietnam’s waters on August 13 was “escalation by Beijing in its efforts to intimidate other claimants out of developing resources in the East Sea”.
Earlier the same day, Vietnam also demanded China to immediately withdraw all vessels from Vietnam’s EEZ and not have actions to increase tensions, complicate the situation, and threaten peace, stability and security in the East Sea and the region.
“Over the past days, China’s survey vessel group Haiyang Dizhi 8 returned and continued their serious infringements of Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf determined by regulations of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry Le Thi Thu Hang said at a press conference on August 22.
She informed that Vietnam’s competent forces at sea have continued to enforce and protect Vietnam’s sovereignty, sovereign right, and jurisdiction in accordance with international law and the country’s law.
“With the determination to safeguard the country’s legitimate rights and interests and contribute to regional and international peace, stability and security, Vietnam is always willing to settle disputes via peaceful measures in line with international law,” the spokesperson affirmed.
Vietnam called on all relevant countries and the international community to make active and practical contributions to the maintenance of order, peace, and security in the region, as well as security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation, while respecting the principle of the rule of law in the East Sea in conformity with international law, especially the UNCLOS, Hang added.-VNA