On May 30, a group of 35 fishing ships and two coast guard ships of China encircled and threatened Vietnamese fishing vessels which were operating 30-35 nautical miles from a drilling rig China illegally placed in Vietnam’s waters.

According to the Vietnam Fishery Surveillance Department, on the day, China maintained 117 ships, including 33 coast guard ships, 17 tugboats, 13 cargo ships, four military and 50 fishing vessels, around the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981.

The department reported that together with two missile-mounted escort ships and two mine sweeping ships, China also sent a plane to fly above the rig.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese fishery surveillance forces continued to try to approach the rig to demand China immediately withdraw its rig from Vietnam’s waters.

However, when they were 5-6 nautical miles from the rig, Vietnam’s law enforcement ships were encircled and threatened by a group of Chinese ships.

Yet, they managed to approach the rig to a distance of 2.8 nautical miles to ask China to get the rig out.

At the beginning of May 2014, China illegally dispatched the 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 15 degrees 33 minutes 22 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 34 minutes 36 seconds east longitude. The new location is 25 nautical miles from Tri Ton Island in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago and 23 nautical miles east-northeast from the old location, still completely within Vietnam’s continental shelf. With the move, China has kept on violating Vietnam’s sovereign right and jurisdiction.

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