Vietnamese fisheries surveillance ships on July 9 continued to approach China’s oil rig that is standing illegal in Vietnam’s waters to carry out communication works to demand China to withdraw its platform.

The Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department reported that during the day, China sent 103 – 110 vessels to protect the rig Haiyang Shiyou-981, including 40 – 42 coast guard ships, 17 – 18 cargo ships, 16 – 18 tugboats, 26 – 28 fishing vessels, and four military vessels.

When Vietnamese ships got to a distance of 10-11 nautical miles from the rig to perform their duties, Chinese vessels lined up and accelerated to get as close as 200 – 300 metres to hinder them from moving nearer to the rig.

Meanwhile, Chinese fishing vessels backed by two coast guard vessels and two cargo ships deliberately obstructed Vietnamese fishing boats, which were working normally at their traditional fishing grounds 42 – 45 nautical miles from the rig.

Braving such acts of the Chinese side, Vietnam’s fisheries surveillance and fishing ships persistently went on with their operation.

In early May, 2014, China illegally dispatched the rig as well as a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft to Vietnam’s waters and positioned the rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude. The location is 80 miles deep into Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

Despite Vietnam’s protest, China 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, 60 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.-VNA