Last update 6/13/2011 10:45:00 AM (GMT+7)
  

Lawyers oppose sovereignty breach

VietNamNet Bridge – The Viet Nam Bar Federation yesterday, June 12, issued a statement to oppose China's violations of Viet Nam's sovereignty and jurisdiction rights over its continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.


In its statement, the federation asked the Chinese side not to make the East Sea situation more complicated by threatening to use force or using force, and to conduct itself in line with its role as a member of the United Nations, especially a member of the UN Security Council, and in its capacity as a nation with an important role in Asia-Pacific and the world.


According to the Viet Nam Foreign Ministry's spokesperson and concerned agencies, on May 26 three Chinese marine surveillance vessels cut survey cables of the Binh Minh 02, a survey ship of the Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group, at 12 degrees 48'25" north latitude and 111 degrees 26'48" east longitude, some 116 nautical miles off Dai Lanh Cape in the central coastal province of Phu Yen and about 340 nautical miles off China's Hainan island coast.


On late May 31, three Chinese naval vessels fired to threaten four fishing boats of Vietnamese fishermen while they were fishing at 8 degrees 56' north latitude and 112 degrees 45' east longitude on the continental shelf of Viet Nam.


On June 9, a Chinese fishing boat supported by two Chinese fishery administration vessels deliberately hit the survey cables of Viking II, a ship hired by the Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group to conduct seismic surveys, at 6 degrees 47'5" north latitude and 109 degrees 17'5" east longitude on Viet Nam's continental shelf.


Based on the UN Charter, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties on the East Sea between governments of ASEAN countries and China, China's above-mentioned acts seriously violated Viet Nam's rights to sovereignty and jurisdiction over its continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, making the East Sea situation to continue to be tense.


The federation has enough legal basis to announce that the acts of the Chinese side seriously violated fundamental principles of international laws: not threatening to use force or using force in international relations to challenge the territorial integrity or political independence of any nation.


The acts also seriously violated the sovereignty and jurisdiction rights of Viet Nam to its continental shelf and exclusive economic zone according to Article 55, Article 56 and Article 57, Article 76, Article 77 and Article 301 in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and went against Clause 1 and Clause 4 in the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea between ASEAN member countries and China.


The federation demanded the Chinese side, for the strategic height and long-term relationship between Viet Nam and China, to immediately stop and not repeat any violating actions within Viet Nam's continental shelf and exclusive economic zone in the East Sea and to take responsibility for paying damages caused to the Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group and the Vietnamese fishermen.


The federation always treasures and wants the friendship as well as the traditional co-operation between the two peoples and bar organisations to be further promoted in the spirit of respecting independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of each other, jointly dealing with differences between the two countries by peaceful means, preventing and opposing actions that harm peaceful and friendly relations between the two countries.


It requested the national bar organisations of ASEAN countries, the Law Association for Asia and the Pacific and the China Bar Association to jointly bear responsibility for protecting justice, international law, respecting independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries, maintaining peace and international security and jointly building a democratic, fair and civilised world.


The federation will do its utmost to contribute to the legal fight of the Vietnamese State and people to protect sovereignty and territorial integrity in general and seas and islands in particular in every forum by international legal institutions.


Peace Committee


The Viet Nam Peace Committee yesterday sent a letter to the Chinese People's Association for Peace and Disarmament expressing concerns over recent violations by Chinese ships of the water under Viet Nam's sovereignty rights.


The committee said that on May 26 and June 9 Chinese marine surveillance, fishery administration and fishing vessels had taken actions that seriously violated Viet Nam's sovereignty and jurisdiction rights over its continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.


The Viet Nam Peace Committee and the Vietnamese people were concerned over those serious and repeated violations by Chinese ships, the committee said, adding that these acts caused adverse impacts on the long-standing friendship between the two peoples and on public worries in the region and the world, as well as on peace and stability in the region.


The committee expressed the wish that the Chinese side not let similar actions recur.


VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

 
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