China’s deployment of an oil rig in Vietnam’s waters is a hazardous escalation that creates an extremely dangerous scenario to the region, the Straits Times, Singapore’s leading daily, quoted the country’s analysts as saying on May 7.

The same day, many major newspapers in Germany also ran articles and photos on the aggressive attitude of China in the East Sea, underscoring that China ’s stationing of its oil rig in Vietnam’s waters is part of a series of provocative acts from Beijing.

During a press conference in Hanoi on May 7, Vice Commander and Chief of Staff of the Vietnam Coast Guard, Ngo Ngoc Thu, said that on May 1, Vietnamese agencies detected China’s Hai Yang Shi You 981 deep sea rig being escorted by three oil and gas service vessels moving from the northeastern area of Tri Ton Island in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago to the south.

At 4pm on May 2, the rig was floating at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude to the south of Tri Ton Island. The location was 80 nautical miles deep in Vietnam’s continental shelf and was 119 nautical miles off Vietnam’s Ly Son Island and 130 nautical miles off its coast.

According to Deputy Director of the National Boundary Commission Tran Duy Hai, China has so far deployed many vessels, up to 80 at peak time, of various kinds, including seven military ships backed by 33 boats of the marine police, marine surveillance force and fishery administration force, as well as transport and fishing vessels.

In addition, dozens of Chinese plane are operating daily in the area. A flotilla of armed fishing boats and military ships are prowling 50-60 nautical miles from Ly Son Island.

Hai said that when Vietnam ’s law enforcement ships arrived to stop the illegal intrusion of the Chinese side, Chinese ships aggressively fired water cannons and even rammed the Vietnamese vessels, damaging them and injuring crew members.

On May 6, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh spoke on the phone with Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi, demanding China withdraw its oil rig and ships operating in Vietnam’s waters.-VNA