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Vietnam PM says considering legal action against China over disputed waters

Published on May 22, 2014 8:18 AM
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung walks after offering a wreath at the monument of President Ho Chi Ming, at Intramuros, in Manila, Philippines, on May 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: EPA

MANILA (REUTERS) - Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said his government was considering various "defence options" against China, including legal action, following the deployment of a Chinese oil rig to disputed waters in the South China Sea.

Dung's comments, given in a written response to questions from Reuters, are the first time he has suggested Vietnam would take legal measures, a threat that is likely to infuriate Beijing.

"Vietnam is considering various defence options, including legal actions in accordance with international law," Dung said in an email sent while on a visit to Manila late on Wednesday. He did not elaborate on the other options being considered.

"I wish to underscore that Vietnam will resolutely defend its sovereignty and legitimate interests because territorial sovereignty, including sovereignty of its maritime zones and islands, is sacred," he said.

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