In an echo of previous German-based protests against China’s dispatch of its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou – 981 in Vietnam’s waters, nearly 7,000 Vietnamese and foreign citizens on June 15 staged a third rally from downtown Berlin to the Chinese embassy.

They marched from Alexanderpatz square in eastern Berlin, and heard a German-language speech disclosing China’s wrongful and blatant acts in Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

In response to organisers’ appeal, representatives from Vietnamese associations across the cities of Rostock, Hannover and Erfurt also voiced their unity with coast guards and fishermen at home.

On behalf of German residents, Chairman of the Germany – Vietnam Association Siegfried Sommer and Chairwoman of Reistrommel Association Tamara Hentschel spoke out against China’s aggressiveness in front of the crowd.

China’s rig operation is unacceptable, wrongful and shameful, Udo, a local protestor, said in anger.

The same day, in the Czech city of Teblice, over 100 Vietnamese Catholics and Buddhists from Praha, Brno, Pilsen, Tabor and Ostrava prayed for peace at home.

Earlier, they also raised donations in support of Vietnamese soldiers and fishermen.

Since early May, China has illegally operated the 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 continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

As of June 15, China kept over 120 ships of all kinds around the rig, including 36-40 coast guard vessels, over 30-32 cargo liners and tugboats, six military ships and 45-50 fishing vessels. A Chinese military aircraft has also been flying over and around the rig at a height of 500-700m.-VNA