China takes Vietnam over South China Sea to UN

Amid confrontation with Vietnam over the deployment of its drilling rig in the disputed South China Sea, China has complained to the UN that Hanoi`s actions violate its sovereignty and undermine safety of navigation.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 10, 2014, 17:45 PM IST

Beijing: Amid confrontation with Vietnam over the deployment of its drilling rig in the disputed South China Sea, China has complained to the UN that Hanoi`s actions violate its sovereignty and undermine safety of navigation.

Chinese envoy yesterday sent a note to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, presenting documents that Vietnam is resorting to provocative actions as China`s claims over the islands claimed by both the countries.

Vietnam calls the islands "Paracel" and China refers to them as "Xisha" Islands in the SCS, part of the Pacific ocean.

In the note, China`s deputy permanent representative to the UN Wang Min asked Ban to circulate the documents, as UN General Assembly documents among all the member states.

The documents included an article, released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Sunday titled "The Operation of the HYSY 981 Drilling Rig: Vietnam`s Provocation and China`s Position", as well as annexed material that proves the Xisha Islands are part of Chinese territory, state-run Xinhua news agency said.

"China sent the note to tell the international community the truth and set straight their understanding on the issue," Wang said.

Vietnamese actions also undermined the freedom and safety of navigation in these waters, and damaged peace and stability in the region, he added.

Relations between the two countries plummeted after China deployed its massive oil rig in the disputed waters in early May. Since then naval vessels of both the countries rammed into each other several hundred times.

China also accused Vietnam of sending frogmen and underwater agents to the area, and dropped large numbers of obstacles, including fishing nets and floating objects to disrupt the drilling activities.

The Chinese complaint blamed Vietnam of violating its sovereignty, posing "grave threats" to Chinese personnel on the rig and violating international laws including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Philippines, which along with Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan has a raging dispute with China over the SCS filed a complaint against China and called for arbitration.

In its complaint, Wang said Xisha Islands are an inherent part of China`s territory, over which there is no dispute.

He quoted the documents as saying that, prior to 1974, none of the successive Vietnamese governments had ever challenged China`s sovereignty over the Islands.

"Vietnam had officially recognised the Xisha Islands as part of China`s territory since ancient times," he said.

"This position was reflected in its government statements and notes as well as its newspapers, maps and textbooks," he said.