Nearly 800 Vietnamese and their German friends on June 14 gathered at downtown Hannover city, the capital of the north-western state of Niedersachsen, to protest against China’s illegal placement of its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou – 981 in Vietnam’s waters.

They held national red flags and banners aloft, shouting “ China must pull its rig out of Vietnam immediately”, “Hoang Sa – Truong Sa belong to Vietnam ” and “ China must respect international law”.

Making their way through thoroughfares, many burst into a popular Vietnamese song “ Noi vong tay lon ” (Circle of unity), with some even voicing their self-composed music pieces to demonstrate that Vietnam loves peace and justice.

They were joined by Germans from states as far as Oldenburg , Magdeburg and Bremen , following on from other peaceful marches in the major cities of Berlin , Frankfurt and Munich.

On the occasion, participants also raised donations in support of coast guards and fishermen at home.
Since early May, China has illegally maintained 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 14, China kept about 120 vessels of all kinds around its rig, and its fishing vessels, assisted by coastal guard ships, aggressively disrupted regular fishing activities of Vietnamese boats, pushing them 38-40 nautical miles away from the rig.-VNA