Chinese fishing ships on June 13 intentionally formed a row, 35 nautical miles from China’s drilling rig illegally placed in Vietnam’s waters, in order to prevent Vietnamese fishing boats from operating in their traditional grounds near the rig, according to the Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department.

Throughout the day, China maintained the presence of 116 ships, including two coast guard vessels, 14 cargo ships, 18 tugboats and six warships, around the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 illegally stationed in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

Chinese coast guard vessels and tugboats kept a distance of 50-100m from Vietnamese Fisheries Surveillance vessels to aggressively prevent them from nearing the rig.

The Chinese ships came alongside and were always ready to ram into and prohibit the Vietnamese vessels from carrying out their missions.

Despite unfavourable weather and China’s aggressive acts, Vietnam’s Fisheries Surveillance and fishing vessels persistently stayed in the area to continue their duties and normal activities.

At the beginning of May, China illegally dispatched the rig, as well as a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft, to Vietnam’s waters and positioned it at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude, 80 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

On May 26, Chinese ships sank a fishing boat belonging to Da Nang fishermen operating in the traditional fishing grounds near Vietnam ’s Hoang Sa archipelago.

On June 1, Chinese ships seriously damaged ship 2016 of the Vietnam Coast Guard, causing many holes on its side.

On June 7, Chinese ships deliberately rammed into Vietnam’s fisheries surveillance ship KN-635, causing more damage.-VNA