As of May 20, China maintained the presence of more than 90 ships of various kinds defending rig Haiyang Shiyou-981, several of which kept approaching and attacking Vietnamese ships on their law enforcement missions, according to the Vietnam Coast Guard High Command.

Meanwhile, some Chinese fishing vessels, which are built from iron and have a capacity of above 300 tonnes, accompanied armed ships to hinder the operations of Vietnamese boats, according to the force.

However, the Vietnam Coast Guard continued to persistently demand China to recall its oil rig and ships out of Vietnam’s waters, said the force.

At 7:10 on May 20, as the Vietnam Coast Guard ship coded 4032 came about 6.4 nautical miles from the oil rig, it was obstructed by six Chinese ships, coded 3401, 102, 21101, 32101, 46001 and 37011.

At 8:05, three other Chinese ships cut in ahead of the Vietnam Coast Guard ship 8003, forcing it to stop its engine and start to float. Then at 9:20, the ship 8003 detected 69 Chinese vessels defending the oil rig.

Since the beginning of May, 2014, China boldly dispatched its Haiyang Shiyou-981 as well as a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft to Vietnamese waters and positioned the rig at a location 80 miles deep into the Vietnamese continental shelf and exclusive economic zone prescribed in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

China’s armed vessels aggressively fired high-power water cannons at, and intentionally rammed, Vietnamese public-service and civil ships, causing damage to many boats and injuring many people on board.

China’s moves gravely violate international law, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), to which China is a signatory. This extremely dangerous action has been and is directly threatening peace, stability and maritime security and safety in the East Sea.-VNA