Chinese ships ram Vietnamese vessels

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Chinese ships intentionally rammed a ship of the Vietnam Marine Police Tuesday morning, in waters within the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of Vietnam.

chinese boats, vietnamese vessels

A Vietnam`s fishery boat was rammed by Chinese vessels.

At 8am on Tuesday, three vessels of the Vietnam Marine Police – 8003, 2013 and 4032 – as well as fishery boats, approached the HD-981 oil rig of China, which was recently set up illegally in Vietnamese waters. Radar images showed over 80 Chinese boats surrounding the rig.

At around 8:10am, when ship 8003 was about 8 nautical miles from the rig, several Chinese ships approached it. Over loudspeakers, the Vietnamese ship asked the Chinese to cease their illegal activities in Vietnam’s waters, but Chinese ship 3401 went around and intimidated the Vietnamese ship. Other Chinese ships used water cannons to attack the Vietnamese vessel.

At this time, vessels of the Vietnam Marine Police received orders from headquarters to move deeper into the area where China had placed its illegal rig.

At 8:25am, Vietnamese ship 4032 moved to within 5.5 nautical miles of the rig and was subsequently threatened by two Chinese boats, 7028 and 46001. The Vietnamese ship steered to avoid a collision but the two Chinese vessels intentionally crashed into the ship’s stern.

Earlier, on Sunday, boat 4032 was also attacked by water cannons from Chinese boats.

In the past 10 days, since anchoring rig HD-981, China has continually interfered with Vietnamese law enforcement forces on duty in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone. Its marine surveillance ships, missile-bearing patrol ships and reconnaissance aircraft have harassed and attacked Vietnamese vessels. Intentional collisions on the part of the Chinese have so far injured nine members of the fishery forces and damaged several Vietnamese boats.

Through diplomatic channels and on international fora, the government of Vietnam has asked China to withdraw its rig, ships and aircraft from the exclusive economic zone of Vietnam. Vietnamese people at home and abroad have also marched on the streets and in front of Chinese embassies to protest the infringement of Vietnam’s sovereignty.

Tran Cham

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