On May 21, China maintained the presence of 95 ships of various kinds, including a number of big tugboats, around its Haiyang Shiyou-981 drilling rig which is illegally placed in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.

According to the Vietnam Coast Guard High Command, Chinese ships always moved near ships of Vietnamese law enforcement forces and were ready to fire water cannons at or rammed Vietnam’s ships at any moment.

In addition, some Chinese iron fishing vessels got close to and tried to drive Vietnamese fishing boats, mostly made of wood, away from the area surrounding the drilling rig.

In the face of such aggressive and perverse acts, Vietnam Marine Police ships tried to come near the rig at a distance of 5.5-6.5 nautical miles and persistently requested China to get its oil rig and armed ships out of Vietnam’s waters.

On May 2, China stationed the Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude. The location is 80 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and 119 nautical miles to Vietnam’s Ly Son Island.

Chinese ships have repeatedly rammed and fired water cannons into Vietnamese coast guard and fisheries surveillance ships which are carrying out their law enforcement missions in the country’s waters, leaving many Vietnamese ships damaged and many fisheries surveillance officers injured.-VNA