Statement by Vietnamese Civil Society Organisations Comdemming Chinese Government’s Aggression

Statement by Vietnamese Civil Society Organisations Comdemming Chinese Government’s Aggression

The right to live in peace is a fundamental right of all human beings regardless our membership of any ethnic group, gender, age, or nationality whether a person live in Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, or China. All governments and international organizations are obliged to keep peace as a basic condition for the people of different countries to pursue happiness and realize their right to development. This basic obligation is bound in the spirit of international laws, as well as enshrined by the Charter of the United Nations and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS, 1982). The latter instrument provided sovereignty rights of the State in the exclusive economic zone within 200 nautical miles from the national baseline.

However, in the past few years, the Chinese Government has been extending statements and acts in contradiction with the application of international laws in the East Sea (aka South China Sea). Those ungrounded statements and aggressive acts by the Chinese Government evidently raised concerns by ASEAN country members including Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. Most recently, the placement of the giant Chinese state-owned oil rig Haiyang 981 in Block 143 inside Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone, supported by dozens of armed vessels and military facilities, was provocative and illegal. The ongoing operation by the Chinese Government has violated the agreed principle that “The Parties undertake to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability” as stated by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (2002) by China and ASEAN country members.

Peace keeping, sustaining security and protection of all human rights are the first and foremost concern shared by the people not only in Vietnam but in the ASEAN and the international community. We the Vietnamese civil society actors, call on:

• The Government of China to immediately withdraw the State-owned oil rig Haiyang 981 and other armed vessels and facilities from the Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and seabed, to respect the sovereignty rights of Vietnam, and the right to security of Vietnamese people, in particular millions of Vietnamese fishmen. The Chinese Government should stop those operations which threaten to violate basic principles of international laws, and refrain from provoking operation in the East Sea, which threaten peace, security and freedom of movement in the region.

• The Government of Vietnam to act firmly and peacefully to stop aggressive moves of China in the East Sea within the exclusive economic zone of Vietnam. The Government of Vietnam should timely provide updates on the situation in the East Sea, based on which her people and friends could freely and peacefully express opinions and emotions on the situation as well as against the wrong-doings by the Government of China.

• The people of Vietnam, the people of ASEAN, the people of China and other countries, to call for the Government of China to show respect to international law and to respect the right to live in peace and the right to livelihoods of the lay people, in particular fishmen of ASEAN.

We commit to hold solidarity across national civil society actors, the people of Vietnam and the world, to closely monitor the on-going situation, and to respond to new development in a manner with full respect to peace and human dignity.

Hanoi, May 21st 2014

Endorsed by
1. Inclusive Development Action (IDEA)
2. ThreeFifty Vietnam, Hanoi Foreign Trade University
3. Hanoi Go Green Club
4. Club of Green Journalists
5. Cai Bang Sociology Club
6. Global Active Citizen Program (GAC)
7. Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender Community in Hai Duong Province
8. The Pioneer Fish Project
9. The Black or White Project in Ho Chi Minh City
10. The Let’s Bus Project
11. Reading Circle Vietnam
12. Association of Persons with Disabilities in Dong Da District, Hanoi
13. The SIAMovies Channel
14. Social Network of Viet Nam
15. “Be A Storyteller” Group
16. Green Living Association (GLA)
17. Cooperation Group for Governance and Public Administration Reform (GPAR)
18. Connecting Diversity of Sexuality (6+)
19. The Southern Green Economy Group
20. The Smile Group
21. Sexual Rights Group
22. Tien Giang Capital Aid Fund for Women’s Economic Development
23. Book Hunter Club
24. Action for Wildlife Organization (AWO)
25. Golden Ball Organisation
26. Khanh Hoi Orphanage Center
27. Rural Development Service Center (RDSC)
28. Center of Hands-on Actions and Networking for Growth and Environment (CHANGE)
29. Action to the Community Development Center (ACDC)
30. Vietnam Non-Government Organizations Alliance (VNGOA)
31. Center for Education Promotion and Empowerment of Women (CEPEW)
32. Community Finance Resource Center (CFRC)
33. Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP)
34. Disability Research and Capacity Development Center (DRD)
35. Research Centre for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED)
36. Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD)
37. The Centre for Research on Initiatives of Community Development (RIC)
38. Research & Action Centre for Community (REACOM)
39. Centre for Research and Support for Vietnamese Children (CENFORCHIL)
40. Center for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender, Family, Women and Adolescents (CSAGA)
41. Cao Bang Community Development Centre (DECEN)
42. Ha Tinh Center for Community Development (HCCD)
43. Dien Bien Centre for Community Development (CCD)
44. Center for Community Development and Social Work (CODES)
45. Centre for Rural Development in Central Vietnam (CRD)
46. Center for Development of Community Initiative and Environment (C&E)
47. Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID)
48. Center for Development and Integration (CDI)
49. Pro-Poor Center Ha Tinh (PPC)
50. Centre for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP)
51. Live & Learn Environmental Education (Live & Learn)
52. Centre for Innovative Media, Services and Studies on Sexuality (ICS)
53. Centre of Culture Identity and Resources Use Management (CIRUM)
54. Centre for Sustainable Development in Mountainous Areas (CSDM)
55. Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS)
56. Institute for Studies of Society, Economics and Environment (iSEE)

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