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Viet Nam & UN  »  General
06-11-2014, 12:17 am

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Vietnam's U.N. ambassador urged China on Tuesday to withdraw its oil rig and more than 100 ships from the South China Sea to create "an environment" for negotiations on the disputed waters.

But Ambassador Le Hoai Trung said in an interview with The Associated Press that Beijing refuses to engage in dialogue and insists there is no dispute, claiming the area around the rig belongs to China.

The escalation in tensions is the most serious in years between Vietnam and its massive northern neighbor, which claims nearly all of the South China Sea.

China sent the rig into the disputed waters on May 1, provoking a confrontation with Vietnamese ships, complaints from Hanoi and street protests that turned into bloody anti-Chinese riots. Hundreds of factories were damaged, and China said four of its citizens were "brutally killed" and over 300 injured.

Trung said "some extreme elements" provoked by China's deployment of the rig undertook actions which the government "very much regrets." He said many suspects have been arrested and prosecuted, and the government has taken measures to prevent a repetition of the violence.

Both Vietnam and China have taken the dispute over the rig to the United Nations, circulating rival documents among the U.N. General Assembly's 193 member states. Vietnam has said it is considering legal action against China in an international court.

China has accused Vietnam of "illegally and forcefully" disrupting the rig's operation by sending armed ships and ramming Chinese vessels.

The oil platform is located about 32 kilometers (20 miles) from the China-controlled Paracel Islands, which Vietnam claims, and 278 kilometers (173 miles) from the coast of Vietnam.

Trung said Vietnam has "the legal basis and historical evidence to affirm our sovereign rights over the area" where the rig is deployed, which the country says is part of its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

The ambassador said China's refusal to discuss the dispute is provocative and raises "serious concerns."

"We don't want to be provocative with this issue," he said. "We want to have negotiations, to have dialogue, or any other means of peaceful settlement of the dispute."

He added, "Up until now we exercise our restraint, but of course we always, like any other country, reserve the right of self-defense."

Trung stressed, however, that after decades of war the Vietnamese people want peace "and friendly relations with China."

Print version

Other News:
 » Remarks by Mr. Dang Minh Khoi, Assistant Foreign Minister, Director General of Northeast Asia Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the International Press Conference 17 May, 2014 | 05-20-2014 |
 » Statement by H.E. Ambassador Le Hoai Trung, Permanent Representative of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam at the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly Agenda Item 126: Interaction between the United Nations, national parliaments and the In | 05-19-2014 |
 » Viet Nam demands China withdraw from territorial waters | 05-16-2014 |
 » Statement by H.E. Mr. Le Hoai Trung Permanent Representative of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam on behalf of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security 25 April 2014 | 04-29-2014 |
 » Statement by H.E. Mr. Le Hoai Trung Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to the United Nations at the Open Debate of the Security Council on “Wars, Lessons of War and the Search for Permanent Peace” | 02-01-2014 |
 » Announcement of Closure on the occasion of Vietnamese Lunar New Year | 01-29-2014 |
 » Viet Nam signed the 1984 United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment | 11-07-2013 |
 » Introduction Speech by H.E. Ambassador Le Hoai Trung Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations on agenda item 88: Report of the IAEA | 11-07-2013 |
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 » Statement by H.E. Ambassador Le Hoai Trung,Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to the United Nations on behalf of ASEAN Nations on Operational activities for development of the Second Committee 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly | 10-16-2013 |