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Chinese ships form 3 rounds to protect illegal rig in Vietnam’s waters

Chinese ships form 3 rounds to protect illegal rig in Vietnam’s waters

Thursday, June 26, 2014, 11:10 GMT+7

Chinese vessels that are protecting China’s Haiyang Shiyou 981 drilling rig illicitly positioned in Vietnam’s waters gathered on Wednesday in three rounds in front of the platform to drive Vietnamese ships away, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper correspondents reported from the scene.

>> Chinese boats ready to raid Vietnamese ships in Vietnam’s waters >> Chinese vessels hit Vietnam's ship twice, injuring 2 officers >> Chinese fishing boats bully Vietnamese counterparts in Vietnam’s waters >> China sends 3 fighter planes to illegal rig’s area in Vietnam’s waters China yesterday deployed 117-123 vessels to the waters, including 41-43 coast guard ships, 13-15 transport boats, 17-19 tugboats, six military ships and 40 iron-clad fishing boats, the Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department said. These vessels were arranged in three rounds from the rig and, like in previous days, they aggressively attempted to ram or fire their water cannons at Vietnamese vessels who decisively demanded that the rig and its escorting ships leave the Vietnamese waters, where they have been unlawfully stationed since May 1. At 7:30 am, nine Chinese vessels of various kinds sped up toward several Vietnamese ships in an area 11 nautical miles from the rig. These local ships had to maneuver to avoid collision or being blasted with high-pressure water by the Chinese watercrafts. Ten minutes later, a Chinese military plane was seen hovering at an altitude of around 1,000 meters above the Vietnamese vessels that were coping with possible attacks from the Chinese side. There was a time when Vietnam Coast Guard CSB 8003 was surrounded by many Chinese vessels, including #31102, #3210, #46015 and #31, which sounded their sirens loudly and tried to slam into the local ship. However, Nguyen Van Hung, the captain of CSB 8003, tried to steer his boat away from the attackers successfully. Meanwhile, 40 large Chinese fishing boats, with the support of two coast guard ships, continuously bullied their small Vietnamese counterparts in the Vietnamese waters about 40 nautical miles from the rig. Beijing has illegally maintained the rig and its guarding ships in Vietnam’s waters despite Hanoi’s strong protests. These Chinese vessels have launched many attacks on Vietnamese ships, injuring 17 fisheries surveillance officers and two fishermen. They also damaged 29 boats of Vietnam’s marine law enforcement and Coast Guard forces, and seven fishing boats of local fishermen, the Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department reported.

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