|A Chinese ship stands ready to ram into Vietnamese ship (Photo: VNA)|
Facing obstinate and violent obstruction by the Chinese side, Vietnamese ships still managed to get about 9 nautical miles near rig Haiyang Shiyou-981, standing illegally in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf since the beginning of May, the department said.
A large number of Chinese coast guard and patrol ships and tugboats defending the rig kept on following and blocking Vietnamese ships, driving them away.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese authorities detected two Chinese minesweepers operating about 18-21 nautical miles from the rig, a Vietnam News Agency reporter at the site said.
At 13:00, a reconnaissance aircraft also flew above Vietnam’s fisheries surveillance ships.
At the same time, about 38 Chinese fishing ships, backed by two coast guard ships, coded 46102 and 44608, continued to violently disturb Vietnamese fishing boats operating about 37 nautical miles from the rig.
However, the Chinese aggression could not stop Vietnamese fishermen from conducting their catching activities in their traditional fishing ground 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.
On May 26, Chinese ship 11209 sank a Vietnamese fishing vessel while it was operating normally in its traditional fishing ground near Vietnam ’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago.