Wednesday, July 18 2018

VietNamNews

China continues sea incursion

Update: June, 18/2014 - 08:33
The rig is illegally standing in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

HA NOI (VNS) — A Chinese helicopter landed on the oil drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in the East Sea yesterday morning.

The rig is illegally standing in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, according to the Viet Nam Fisheries Surveillance Department.

China still has 136 ships, including coastguard, cargo and fishing vessels, tugboats, and five military ships surrounding the rig.

The Chinese fleet kept on circling and standing ready to ram Vietnamese vessels, while approaching them to within 30-50m, the department reported.

In addition, Chinese fishing ships escorted by a coastguard ship coded 46102 formed a line to block Vietnamese fishing boats undertaking their normal catching activities about 30 nautical miles from the rig.

Despite strong wind and rough seas, Vietnamese ships tried to get closer to the rig to protest and demand China move it from Viet Nam's waters.

At the beginning of May, China illegally dispatched the rig as well as a large fleet of armed vessel.

Despite Viet Nam's protests, China has expanded its scale of operation and moved the rig twice since. The latest location is 60 nautical miles inside Viet Nam's continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

China was probably preparing to move oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981, illegally stationed in Vietnamese waters, to a new position yesterday, according to a Vietnam News Agency report.

VNA reporters at the site said the oil rig had lowered two of its cranes, indicating the move.

They said the Viet Nam Fisheries Surveillance fleet had intensified its monitoring of the area where the rig stands now.

Unusually, Chinese ships approached Vietnamese vessels from directions different from those in previous days, while continuing to prevent them from getting close to the rig.

According to the Viet Nam Fisheries Surveillance force, as of yesterday, China had 136 ships, including five battleships, surrounding the rig. They kept circling and standing ready to ram Vietnamese vessels, getting as close as 30-50m, the VNA report said.

In addition, Chinese fishing ships escorted by a coast guard ship formed a line to block and disturb Vietnamese fishing boats engaged in their normal activities at about 30 nautical miles from the rig.

Early in May, China had illegally dispatched the rig as well as a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft to Vietnamese waters and positioned the rig at 80 miles deep inside Viet Nam's continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

Despite Viet Nam's protests, China has expanded its scale of operation and moved the rig to about 60 nautical miles deep inside Viet Nam's continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, the VNA report said. — VNS

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