John Ashe, President of the current UN General Assembly session, has raised the international community’s concern about recent East Sea tensions and supported Vietnam’s stance towards settling the dispute by peaceful means in line with the UN Charter and international law.


China's oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 is illegally positioned in Vietnam's exclusive continental shelf

Receiving ambassador Le Hoai Trung head of the Vietnamese mission to the UN, in New York on June 10, Ashe called on parties concerned not to carry out unilateral acts to escalate tensions in the region.

He said his office has followed the situation with keen interest and it is willing to lend a helping hand to the parties in addressing the issue.

Ambassador Trung said since China stationed its drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981, it has deployed many boats, including warships, and aircraft to prevent the operation of Vietnamese law enforcement agencies in the area.

China's oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 is illegally positioned in Vietnam's exclusive continental shelf

He said Chinese vessels provocatively attacked and fired water cannons at Vietnamese law enforcement and fishing boats, injuring a number of sailors and seriously damaging their property. Most recently, they even sank a Vietnamese boat which was fishing in its traditional fishing ground.

Trung said Vietnam strongly protests against Chinese violation of Vietnamese sovereignty and asks it to withdraw the drilling rig, escort ship and aircraft from Vietnam’s waters.

Vietnam has exercised maximum restraint and made every effort to resolve the issue through dialogue and other peaceful means in line with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

In defiance of Vietnam’s goodwill, China has increased provocative acts to complicate the situation in the East Sea.

The ambassador said Vietnam has sufficient historical evidence and legal foundations to assert its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago. He even refuted China’s incorrect and groundless arguments, including a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement on June 8.

He proposed that the UN and the international community continue supporting Vietnam’s goodwill and legitimate requests.