|On June 4 and 5, at least five Chinese ships fired water cannons at Vietnamese ships at close range, seriously damaging one of the vessels.— VNA/VNS Photo Van Son
HA NOI (VNS) — China has shown no signs of stopping its aggressive actions around the oil-rig it illegally placed in Vietnamese waters a month ago, officials said yesterday.
Hundreds of Chinese vessels are used to protect the rig and attack Vietnamese vessels.
In the last four weeks, China had damaged a total of 24 Vietnamese vessels and injured 12 fisheries surveillance officers, Ngo Ngoc Thu, vice commander of Viet Nam's Coast Guard, told an international press meeting yesterday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Thu said China had maintained three layers of patrol vessels around the oil rig, which has been relocated but was still within Vietnamese waters.
He said Chinese ships kept close to Vietnamese ships, ramming them and attacking them with hire-pressure water cannons.
Tran Duy Hai, deputy director of the National Boundary Commission, said there had been 30 communications of various types with the Chinese, adding that the international community recognised Viet Nam's commitment to solving tensions peacefully.
According to the Viet Nam Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department yesterday, China has maintained 110-115 ships around the oil rig and dispatched two more military ships to within 15-20 nautical miles southwest of it.
On June 4 and 5, at least five Chinese ships fired water cannons at Vietnamese ships at close range, seriously damaging one of the vessels.
Ha Le, deputy head of the Viet Nam Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department, told the media normally a busy time for Vietnamese fishermen in the central region, who had to remain at sea for extended periods.
|Hundreds of Chinese vessels are used to protect the rig and attack Vietnamese vessels. Chinese ships kept close to Vietnamese ships, ramming them and attacking them with hire-pressure water cannons. — VNA/VNS Photo Cong Dinh Huu Trung
Le said Vietnamese boats were now attacked by Chinese fisheries ships. Even their hauls of fish and equipment were robbed.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Le Hai Binh said Viet Nam had sent three diplomatic notes to China's Foreign Affairs Ministry but received no replies.
Despite no response from the Chinese side, he said Viet Nam would adopt a peaceful stance.
Binh said he appreciated that the international community had condemned China's acts and hoped for more "strong voices and actions" from them.
Regarding the content of upcoming ASEAN meetings in Myanmar, Binh said apart from the ASEAN Community and regional trust-building and preventive diplomatic measures, the meetings would focus on the East Sea issue.
"Maintaining peace, stability, security and safety of navigation in the region is both the interest and obligation of regional and non-regional countries. So the East Sea issue and tensions in the region will be on the table at the meetings at an appropriate level," he added. — VNS