The agricultural sector’s labour union in the central province of Khanh Hoa has organised a meeting to object to China’s illegal dispatch of its Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

On the occasion, the union called on all employees in the sector to make donations to assist local fishermen and law enforcement forces that are working to safeguard the country’s sovereignty.

According to Le Tan Ban, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the province has over 9,800 local fishing boats with more than 40,000 labourers working at sea.

Ban said his agency will continue supporting local fishermen to maintain their activities which contribute to safeguarding the country’s sovereignty over sea and islands.

Since early May, China has illegally operated the oil rig and a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft in Vietnam’s waters.

Despite Vietnam’s protests, China has 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, which is 60 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

China’s armed vessels have aggressively and consistently 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.

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

On May 26, Chinese ship 11209 sank a Vietnamese fishing vessel while it was operating normally in its traditional fishing ground near Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago.

China’s illegal acts in the East Sea seriously violates Vietnam’s sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.-VNA