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Chinese ships damage Vietnamese fisheries surveillance vessel

VGP - The Chinese side on June 23 continued harassing Vietnamese law enforcement authorities operating in Viet Nam’s waters, according to the Viet Nam Fisheries Surveillance Department.

June 23, 2014 9:05 PM GMT+7

A Vietnamese coast guard is taking photo of a China coast guard ship

At 9:30, two Chinese tugboats 284 and 285 and a maritime patrol ship No. 11 blocked Vietnamese fisheries surveillance ship KN-951 and steadied it on one side. The action allowed tugboat coded Xinhai 285 to strongly ram into the other side of ship KN-951, causing serious damage to the ship, reported the department.

Meanwhile, the Chinese fleet, including about 44 coast guard ships, up to 15 cargo ships, 19 tugboats, 35 fishing vessels and five battleships, continued defending the drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 that China has illegally positioned in Viet Nam’s waters since the beginning of May.

The Chinese ships kept on chasing Vietnamese ships with a distance as close as 20m and driving them away, while standing ready to ram Vietnamese ships at all time, said the department.

Despite the Chinese aggression, Vietnamese law enforcement authorities were persistently operating about 10 nautical miles from the rig, using communication means to peacefully demand China immediately remove the rig out of Viet Nam’s waters, according to the department.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese fishing vessels continued conducting their normal catching activities in their traditional fishing grounds, about 35-40 nautical miles from the rig, despite the regular disturbance of about 38 Chinese fishing vessels that were supported by coast guard ships coded 46102 and 46106.

At the beginning of May 2014, China illegally dispatched its oil rig as well as a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft to Viet Nam’s waters and positioned the rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude, 80 miles deep into Viet Nam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

Despite Vietnam ’s protest, China expanded its scale of operation and moved the rig to 15 degrees 33 minutes 36 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 34 minutes 11 seconds east longitude, 60 nautical miles deep inside Viet Nam ’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

China ’s armed vessels have aggressively and consistently fired high-power water cannons at and intentionally rammed against Vietnamese public-service and civil ships, causing damage to many boats and injuring many people on board.

Chinese ships have also continuously encircled, constrained and driven away Vietnamese fishing boats operating normally in its traditional fishing ground near Viet Nam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago./.- VNA