According to Gilboa (1998, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2009), media diplomacy occurs when a government sends its diplomatic messages to its target audiences through speeches, press conferences, interviews, visits, media events, or even leaks. In order to succeed, government needs to have ability to predict how its message will be consumed by different stakeholders and how its target audiences are likely to respond. The HD 918 oil rig crisis between China and Vietnam in 2014 in the South China Sea holds a symbolic value to the peoples in Vietnam, and the claims from the Vietnamese states have been recounted to the domestic and oversea audiences some recent years via the media. As the way that the government have utilized the national media outlets to cover the standoff turned the maritime territorial controversy to the violent protests, deteriorating the bilateral relations not only at the government-to-government level but also at the people-to-people one, the demand to understand to what extent and how the media narratives could impact on the issue has increased. This study examines Vietnam’s media diplomacy over the oil rig standoff, especially around the anti-China protests in 2014 in Vietnam.