Falsification to realize the U-shaped line

(VOVworld) – China’s placing of the oil rig Haiyang 981 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) clearly violates Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. But China refuses to withdraw the drilling rig and its escort vessels, insisting that the oil rig is located in China’s waters. Experts on maritime law say China is falsifying evidence to validate its U-shaped line.

Falsification to realize the U-shaped line - ảnh 1
The map of the East Sea and position of China's oil rig in Vietnam's EEZ and continental shelf

Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai told CNN that China is operating the drilling rig 17 nautical miles from China’s Tri Ton island and 150 nautical miles from Vietnam’s coast. He said the oil rig is not within Vietnam’s EEZ and continental shelf. This is a distortion of the truth.

Invalid argument

China’s oil rig is 150 nautical miles from Vietnam’s Ly Son island and within Vietnam’s EEZ, which extends 200 nautical miles from the baseline. Doctor Nguyen Toan Thang, Deputy Head of the Faculty of International Law of the Hanoi University of Law, says: “It’s important to know that Tri Ton island is part of the Hoang Sa archipelago. Vietnam has sufficient legal evidence to prove its peaceful and uninterrupted ownership of the Hoang Sa archipelago for a long time. In other words, Hoang Sa is part of Vietnam’s territory. China has no legal or historical basis for claiming Hoang Sa and the surrounding sea area. China used force to occupy the eastern part of Hoang Sa in 1956 and the rest in 1974. China’s current, temporary occupation of the Hoang Sa archipelago is illegal because Hoang Sa belongs to Vietnam’s territory and sovereignty.”

Doctor Tran Cong Truc, former Head of the Government Border Committee, says China has falsified documents saying that oil rig Haiyang 981 is operating in its own territorial waters. The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea said Hoang Sa archipelago is not an archipelagic state. Tri Ton island, which is part of Hoang Sa, does not has satisfy UNCLOS Article 121 because it lacks the natural resources to sustain human habitation or economic life on its own, and therefore has no baseline, exclusive economic zone or continental shelf. Mr. Truc says:“It’s a lie that China is using to justify its invalid claim and a misapplication of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. China wants to turn black into white, to make an undisputed sea area into a disputed sea area, to validate its baseless U-shaped line.”

Rationalizing to turn black into white

One of the points China is using to justify its illegal incursion into Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone is a note sent by Prime Minister Pham Van Dong to Chinese Prime Minister Chou En-lai in 1958. China has tried very hard to rationalize that the note was Vietnam’s recognition of China’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes, known as Xisha and Nansha in Chinese. Doctor Truc says: “The note sent by Prime Minister Pham Van Dong to Prime Minister Chou En-lai did not say that Vietnam recognized China’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes. In 1958, after the Geneva Agreement was signed, Vietnam was temporarily divided into two regions. According to the Geneva Agreement, the part of Vietnam south of parallel 17, including all the islands, was under the control of the Republic of Vietnam and the part north of parallel 17 belonged to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The Geneva Agreement recognized the Republic of Vietnam and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam as two political entities, which were equal in international relations and territorial sovereignty. Geographically, Hoang Sa and Truong Sa were on the southern side of parallel 17, so they were controlled by the Republic of Vietnam, which perpetuated Vietnam’s continuous, peaceful and real sovereignty over these archipelagoes.”

China becoming weak side

China’s illegal placement of an oilrig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf is a clear violation of international law. By trying to justify its illegal actions, China is isolating itself from the international community. Doctor Nguyen Toan Thang says: “China is becoming the weaker side because, in fact, it has no legal grounds. China’s incursions, particularly its illegal placement of oil rig Haiyang 981 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, have reduced China’s prestige. This is because, first, China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and second, China has always claimed to be a peaceful nation. In fact, China’s actions contradict its commitments.”

Multiple analyses confirm that China has violated Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction over its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. China’s actions have damaged the trust of regional countries, particularly the trust between Vietnam and China.

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