China on July 1 dispatched 34 fishing vessels backed by two coast guard ships to hamper Vietnamese fishing boats from approaching the area where the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 is illegally standing.

According to the Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance Department, China has maintained a large fleet of 114-120 vessels of all kinds surrounding its drilling platform, including five warships.

Despite China’s aggressive manner, the Vietnamese fisheries surveillance forces managed to approach the rig at a distance of 10-11 nautical miles, persistently demanding China to remove oil rig and escort ships from Vietnam’s waters.

They have also done their best to ensure safety for Vietnamese fishermen.

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

Despite Vietnam’s protest, China expanded its scale of operation and moved the rig to 15 degrees 33 minutes 36 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 34 minutes 11 seconds east longitude, 60 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s waters.

By encircling, chasing, ramming and firing water cannons at Vietnamese boats, they have injured many sailors and fishermen, threatening their safety.-VNA