China on July 1 dispatched 34 fishing vessels backed by two coast guard ships to hamper Vietnamese fishing boats from approaching the area where its illegally-deployed Haiyang Shiyou-981 is located.
According to the Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance Department, China has maintained a large fleet of 114-120 vessels of all kinds surrounding its drilling platform, including five warships.
Despite China’s aggressive manner, the Vietnamese fisheries surveillance forces managed to approach the rig at a distance of 10-11 nautical miles, persistently demanding China to remove oil rig and escort ships from Vietnam’s waters.
They have also done their best to ensure safety for Vietnamese fishermen.
Chinese vessels keep hindering Vietnamese fishing boats on July 1. Photo credit: Vietnam Coast Guard (canhsatbien.vn)
At the beginning of 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 80 miles deep into Vietnam’s 200-nautical continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.
Despite Vietnam’s protests, China expanded its scale of operation and moved the rig to a new area, 60 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s waters.
By encircling, chasing, ramming and firing water cannons at Vietnamese boats, they have injured many sailors and fishermen, threatening their safety.