The Vietnam Fisheries Trade Union (VFTU) has urged its members and domestic fishermen to continue to go fishing in the country’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in the East Sea.

In its statement, VFTU described China’s illegal deployment of its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou – 981 and over 80 ships in Vietnam’s waters as counter to international law and practices, seriously violating Vietnam’s sovereign right and jurisdiction over its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

China has hampered normal activities of fisheries trade unions and fishermen in the central region, it voiced, requesting that the Chinese rig and ships must be withdrawn from the area without delay.

On May 2, China stationed the rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude. The location is 80 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and 119 nautical miles from Vietnam’s Ly Son Island.

China has so far deployed 86 vessels of various kinds to the area, including military, coast guard, marine surveillance, marine patrol and fishing ships.

The provocative acts by China, including the ramming and firing of water cannons into Vietnamese coast guard ships during their law enforcement missions in the country’s waters, have left many Vietnamese ships damaged and nine fisheries surveillance officers injured.-VNA