Vietnam fisheries surveillance vessels June 15 continued activities to oppose China and request it to withdraw the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 from Vietnam’s waters.

Meanwhile, Chinese ships speeded up to approach the Vietnamese vessels, even at a distance of 10-30m, squared off around the rig and kept Vietnamese vessels about 8-10 nautical miles away from the area where China’s oil rig is illegally deployed, according to the Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance Department.

Vietnam’s fishing boats kept their regular fishing activities about 30-40 nautical miles from the rig, demanding their fishing grounds.

However, their operations were hindered by Chinese ships, Vietnam News Agency reporter said, adding that at night, two coast guard ships and a cargo liner of China flashed lights and blast out siren to Vietnamese fishing boats, driving away them from their traditional fishing ground. In the daytime, these Chinese ships moved at high speed to disrupt the fishing boats’ activities.

On the day at the site, China maintained over 120 ships of all kinds, including 36-40 coast guard vessels, over 30-32 cargo liners and tugboats, six military ships, 45-50 fishing vessels. A military aircraft was spotted to fly over and around the rig at a height of 500-700m.

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. The location is 80 miles deep into Vietnam ’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

Despite Vietnam’s protest, China has expanded its scale of operation and moved the Haiyang Shiyou-981 drilling rig to 15 degrees 33 minutes 36 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 34 minutes 11 seconds east longitude. The new location is 60 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam ’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.-VNA