Many scholars opposed China’s violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty

Posted at: FRIday - 16/05/2014 13:34 - post name: Nguyễn Thị Thùy

Many scholars opposed China’s violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty

Recently, many scholars all over the world have expressed their serious concern about China’s violation of international law.

 Responding to China’s acts of illegal operation of oil rig HD-981 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf and of its proactive crash into vessels of Vietnamese police and fisherman, today, many scholars all over the world have expressed their serious concern and affirmed: “These acts have violated international law and increased the uncertainties in the East Sea. This also affects peace and stability of the region and the world.”

Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982), every coastal State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles. And the exclusive economic zone shall not extend beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured. Every State has sovereignty rights and jurisdiction of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil. The act of placing oil rig HD-981 in the location which is 80 miles deep into the Vietnamese continental shelf and exclusive economic zone has violated 1982 UNCLOS.

Major Gen. Prof. Le Van Cuong, the former director of the Strategy Institute directly under Ministry of Public Security, said: “According to 1982 UNCLOS, in the exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles, China’s brazen action is the violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty, the Charter of United Nation, and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC). It also complicates situation in the East Sea. They go against what the leaders of China signed with Vietnam and other ASEAN countries.”

Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Truong, Chairman of the Strategic Studies and International Relations Development Center, said: "In principle, China is not allowed to send a big giant oil rig with a naval force for support. This is done on the crater of war with seriousness. It violates 3 basic contents, at least two important documents in State level between China and Vietnam. They are the joint statement of Vietnam and China in June 2013 and the joint declaration in Hanoiby two Prime Minister in October 2013 ".

The scholars said that China's act of sending 80 military ships as well as other vessels into territorial sea of Vietnam, and used marine surveillance ships, marine scenes and the fishermen impale initiative on Coast Guard vessels and fishery boat of Vietnam is the action force to change the status quo in the South China Sea, a serious threat to the regional peace and maritime security in the East Sea.

Prof. Carl Thayer of Australian Defence Force Academy said: "Vietnam has established baselines and the exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles under the international law. It means that only Vietnam has the right to claim sovereignty over these waters and the natural resources in these waters, as well as on the continental shelf area. Now that China has violated the exclusive economic zone of Vietnam with a big rig designed to illegally exploit the natural resources within the territory of Vietnam. They not only set up a rig which can be considered as a commercial vessel, but also brings in dozens of other ship here. It means that China has occupiedterritorial waters of Vietnam. And the presence of the warship has completely changed the conflict’s direction in Southeast Asia.”

Professor Vu Duy Ninh of Hanoi National University said: "I think this is the ambition of China. They try to arguebut they have no basis to claim sovereignty over the East Sea. Thus it violates the sovereignty of Vietnam, Philippines and many other countries. That's not acceptable. To maintain peace, in my opinion, we should bring out the problem to the world’s public opinion so that every States could recognize the nature of this act and brutal invasion of China. Secondly, I think that we should lean on legal grounds because the International Maritime Law and other covenants such as DOC and COC are documents having properties of avoiding the collision. And China has violated them. I think we should use public opinion".

Prof. Dr. Vu Minh Giang, Chairman of the Scientific Training Council of Hanoi National University said: “The behavior of China is very dangerous, and it flagrantly violated the sovereignty and jurisdiction of Vietnam. People in the country, foreign friends and the public are reacting strongly. This behavior damaged normal operations of sovereign nations in order to cause disputes on the East Sea, and to threat the maritime security of the area.”


Author: Translated by Nga Nguyen
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