China on June 21 maintained 118 ships, including six military ships, to protect its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 that is illegally standing in Vietnam’s waters, reported the Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance Department.
|In the East Sea (Source: VNA)|
The Chinese ships kept a distance of 6-9 nautical miles from the rig and constantly disrupted law enforcement operations of Vietnamese fisheries surveillance and coast guard authorities.
Despite obstinate and violent obstruction by the Chinese side, Vietnamese vessels still managed to get to the rig as near as 10-12 nautical miles to persistently demand China remove its rig out of Vietnam’s waters and respect international law while protecting Vietnamese fishing boats’ normal operations there.
Three Chinese ships, namely coast guard vessel 2168, tugboats 263 and Haishan, sped towards Vietnamese ships and attempted to ram them while broadcasting distortions against Vietnamese authorities, said Vietnam News Agency reporters at the site.
At 11:07, reconnaissance aircraft CMS-B3843 flew 200-500m above Vietnam’s fisheries surveillance ships which were 12 nautical miles from the rig.
Meanwhile, about 38 Chinese fishing ships, backed by coast guard ship coded 46102, formed a line to violently block Vietnamese fishing boats from operating in their traditional fishing grounds, 34-38 nautical miles from the rig.
However, the Chinese aggression could not stop Vietnamese fishermen from conducting their usual catching activities in Vietnam’s waters.
At the beginning of May 2014, China illegally dispatched the rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 as well as a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft to Vietnam’s waters and positioned the rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude, 80 miles deep into Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.
Despite Vietnam’s protest, China expanded its scale of operation and moved the rig to 15 degrees 33 minutes 36 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 34 minutes 11 seconds east longitude, 60 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.
China’s armed vessels have aggressively and consistently fired high-power water cannons at and intentionally rammed against Vietnamese public-service and civil ships, causing damage to many boats and injuring many people on board.
Chinese ships have continuously encircled, constrained and driven away Vietnamese fishing boats and even injured Vietnamese fishermen, threatening their lives.