Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (Petro Vietnam) on December 3 accused Chinese fishing boats of causing damage to a seismic survey cable of a Vietnamese ship.
This is the second time that the Vietnamese ship has faced similar damage, reported the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group.
|Binh Minh 02 ship|
At the press conference, Pham Viet Dung, deputy head of Petro Vietnam’s Search and Exploration Division, said that the incident happened at 4.05am last Friday, on November 30, when the Binh Minh 02, a State-owned ship was conducting a seismic survey in the sedimentary basin outside the Gulf of Tonkin, and it encountered a large number of Chinese fishing boats operating there.
The ship sent warning signals asking them to leave the area where the ship was operating in. Regardless, two Chinese boats numbered 16025 and 16028 ran up behind Binh Minh 02 and cut off the Vietnamese ship's seismic survey cables.
At that time, Binh Minh 02 was located at 17.26 degrees north latitude and 108.02 degrees west longitude, about 43 nautical miles southeast of Vietnam’s Con Co Island and 20 miles west of the median line between Vietnam and China.
Following the incident, Petro Vietnam immediately ordered relevant departments and the ship's crew to rectify the problem. By 2pm on December 1, the repair work was completed and Binh Minh 02 began to work normally again.
Petro Vietnam objected to the action and requested relevant agencies to ask Chinese citizens to respect Vietnam's sovereignty and not interfere with the operations of Vietnamese ships, including seismic survey ships belonging to Petro Vietnam.
Dung also added that a large number of Chinese fishing boats have recently entered Vietnam’s seas illegally to fish near Con Co Island area till south of Tri Ton Island. The number of such boats could be more than 100 some days. Vietnam’s law-enforcing boats have required Chinese fishing boats to leave Vietnam’s sea territory but many of them deliberately violate Vietnam’s sea areas.
|Location of the incident and the direction of Binh Minh 02 (Source: Petro Times)|
The fact that Chinese fishing boats illegally enter and catch fish in Vietnam’s seas not only violates Vietnam’s sovereignty and sovereignty rights but also prevents normal activities of Vietnamese fishermen and PVN’s operations at sea, Dung said.
A similar incident happened last year when three Chinese boats cut the cables of Binh Minh 02 while it was carrying out an exploratory mission on the continental shelf of Vietnam on May 26, 2011.
Three days later, on May 29, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a press conference over the incident and the then spokesperson of the ministry, Nguyen Phuong Nga, said, “Vietnam demands Chinese side to immediately stop all actions violating Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction and compensate for losses.”