China keeps over 100 ships around oil rig area

  • 01:46 - 2014/06/30

China still keeps 110-114 ships of various kinds around its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou – 981 which is illegally standing in Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, reported the Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance Department on June 27.

They include 43 coast guard, 14 cargo, 34 fishing ships, 17 tugboats, and six military vessels.

A Chinese vessel was trying to prevent a much smaller Vietnamese ship from reaching the oil rig which is illegally placed in Vietnam`s waters on the East Sea.
From 9-9:36am, a reconnaissance aircraft was seen flying at the height of 1,000-2,000m above the rig, then heading to the northwest.

When Vietnamese fisheries surveillance ships tried to approach the rig at a distance of 10-11.5 nautical miles to demand China immediately withdraw its rig and ships out of Vietnam’s waters, Chinese ships simultaneously formed a line, sped up, sounded their sirens, and were ready to ram against Vietnamese ships.

While Vietnamese fishing ships are still operating at their traditional fishing grounds 40-44 nautical miles from the rig, they were obstructed by nearly 40 Chinese fishing ships backed by their fisheries surveillance ships 46102 and 46106.

At the beginning of May 2014, China illegally dispatched the rig 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.

Ever since the tensions began, Vietnam has exercised the utmost restraint, shown every gesture of goodwill and exhausted all dialogue channels to communicate with Chinese authorities of different levels in order to express protest and demand China immediately withdraw its rig and armed and military vessels from Vietnam’s waters.

Nevertheless, up to now, China has failed to respond to Vietnam’s legitimate demand. On the contrary, it has been slandering and blaming Vietnam while continuing to escalate the use of force and violations in an increasingly dangerous and serious manner.

By encircling, chasing, ramming and firing water cannons at Vietnamese boats, they have injured many sailors and fishermen, threatening their safety.


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