China on May 28 deployed four fight jets around the new position of its drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981, which illegally stands in Vietnam’s waters, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Fishery Surveillance Department.

The department also reported that China maintained about 120 ships, including 36 coast guard vessels, 13 tugs, 14 cargo vessels, and seven military ones at the site during the day.

It said China on May 27 moved the rig to 15 degrees 33 minutes 22 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 34 minutes 36 seconds east longitude, and no further movement was observed as of May 28, adding that the new site is still completely within Vietnam’s continental shelf.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese law enforcement vessels on May 28 maintained their presence between 10-12 nautical miles from the Chinese rig to continue requesting its withdrawal from Vietnam’s exclusive zone and continental shelf.

Their activities were obstructed by Chinese ships, which operated in groups to prevent Vietnam law enforcement vessels from approaching and drive them back to beyond 10 nautical miles from the rig.
In the evening, the Chinese ships intentionally turned off their lights and drifted, causing danger to Vietnamese vessels in the vicinity.

In addition, Chinese fishing ships, also in groups, encircled and threatened Vietnamese fishing boats while they were operating in areas about 25-30 nautical miles from the illegal rig.

The same day, the Vietnam Coast Guard command affirmed that Vietnam’s law enforcement vessels continued to try to approach the rig as near as possible to demand China to withdraw its rig and ships from Vietnam’s waters.

At the beginning of May, China illegally dispatched the Haiyang Shiyou-981 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. The location is 80 miles deep inside Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

On May 27, China moved the rig to the new location 23 nautical miles from the old site. With the move, China has kept on violating Vietnam’s sovereign right and jurisdiction.

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