Vietnam’s Coast Guard are still keeping an eye on the deepwater oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 that China placed near Vietnamese waters, an official has said.
The official of the Coast Guard’s High Command, who required to be anonymous, told Tuoi Tre newspaper that the oil rig is operating near the Tonkin Gulf that Vietnam and China are negotiating for demarcation.
He said there had been no abnormal developments and Vietnam was keeping a close watch on the rig.
He said they would "make announcements" if the oil rig has any abnormal activities.
The China Maritime Safety recently said on its website the oil rig would make exploration drills in the area located at 17 degrees 29.53 minutes north latitude (17-29.53N) and 110 degrees 57.18 minutes east longitude (110-57.18E) between December 28 and February 10, 2016.
It asked all vessels traveling in the waters near the rig to stay at least 2,000 meters away to ensure safety for its exploration activities.
On May 1, 2014 China illegally deployed the oil rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, and the accompanying Chinese ships repeatedly rammed Vietnamese law enforcement vessels.
China’s aggression led to a prolonged stand-off between ships belonging to the two countries and widespread protests and rioting in Vietnam.
On July 16, 2014 China withdrew the rig from Vietnamese waters.
China brought the rig back to the waters near Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in June this year.