Between 7:40 and 9:00, the aircraft hovered above Vietnamese ships four times at an altitude of 200-300m, reported the Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance Department.
At the same time, 105 Chinese ships of all kinds, including five battleships, continued surrounding the drilling rig, which was positioned in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in early May.
The Chinese vessels aggressively prevented Vietnamese ships from approaching the rig for communication work.
Despite Chinese aggression, Vietnam’s coast guard and fisheries surveillance ships managed to access the rig at a distance about 10-11 nautical miles from it to demand China immediately remove the rig and escort ships from Vietnam’s waters.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese fishing boats still maintained their normal activities in their traditional ground about 42-45 nautical miles from the rig despite facing violent disturbance of Chinese fishing ships and two coast guard vessels.
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. The location is 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.
On May 26, Chinese ship 11209 sank a Vietnamese fishing vessel that was operating normally in its traditional fishing ground near Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago.