Former border chief rejects China’s drilling excuses


A former Vietnamese official has denounced China’s claim that its dispatch of an oil rig to the East Sea is a ‘normal activity’, citing expert analysts who argue that the move has triggered a new crisis and a soft invasion of the area.

In his article, former head of the National Boundary Commission Tran Cong Truc made it clear that the location of the rig is well within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

China chose this sensitive area to maintain its groundless sovereignty claim over the so-called Xisha Island by intentionally interpreting the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in an incorrect way, he said. The act is part of China’s efforts to materialise its self-proclaimed and unreasonable “nine-dot” territorial claim in the waters, Truc explained.

At the same time, it schemes to create overlapping waters and turn undisputed areas into disputed ones, making it easier to take advantage of the idea of setting aside disputes and pursuing joint development, Truc claimed.

He recalled the year 1974 when China used its armed forces to grab Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, over which it has insisted of having historic sovereignty.


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