Vietnam’s fisheries surveillance ships on June 2 operated about 6-8 nautical miles from China’s Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig, continuing their high-intensity opposition to China and demanding it withdraw its illegally placed rig from Vietnamese waters.

According to a representative from the Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance Department (VFSD), when the Vietnamese vessels approached the rig at a distance of 7-9 nautical miles, China deployed its forces, including coast guard ships and tugboats, to aggressively prevent them.

Chinese ships were ready to sound their horns, ramp against Vietnam’s law enforcement vessels and fire at them with high-pressure water cannons.

However, the Vietnamese forces patiently persisted in their struggle and continued to make their demands of China.

On the day, the Chinese side maintained up to 40 coast guard vessels, 14 transport ships, 20 tugboats, 47 fishing vessels and four warships at the site.

China intensified its reconnaissance activities with a larger number of aircraft. The Vietnamese fisheries surveillance force saw five jet fighters flying around the area where the oil rig is illegally standing.

The VFSD representative further said that about 50 Vietnamese fishing boats conducted catching activities, demanded the country’s traditional fishing grounds and opposed China’s illegal rig placement at the area south of Tri Ton Island in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, 20-25 nautical miles from the rig.

The wood-made ship DNa 90152 of Da Nang fishermen, which was sunk by Chinese ship coded 11209 on May 26, has been brought to shore for technical checks and damage assessment, he added.

At the beginning of May, China illegally dispatched the rig and 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. The location was 80 miles deep inside Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

Ever since, Chinese ships have continuously encircled, constrained and driven away Vietnamese fishing boats and even injured Vietnamese fishermen, threatening their lives.

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.-VNA