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China deploys 116 ships in Vietnam’s waters to threat local vessels

China deploys 116 ships in Vietnam’s waters to threat local vessels

Saturday, July 05, 2014, 10:53 GMT+7

The Chinese fleet in Vietnam’s waters where China’s oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 is illegally located was smaller than the previous day but still very strong and continued to scare local vessels away from the platform, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper’s correspondents reported from the scene.

>> China seizes Vietnamese ship with 6 fishermen off Hoang Sa>> Vietnam preparing documents to sue China: premier >> Chinese minesweeper bullies Vietnamese ship in Vietnam’s waters >> Vietnam will fire back if China uses guns first: Vice Admiral Yesterday, China deployed 116 vessels, including 48 coast guard ships, 15 transport boats, 14 tugboats, 34 fishing vessels and five military ships to guard the platform that has stayed illicitly in Vietnamese waters since early May. Compared to the previous day, the total number of Chinese vessels on Friday was reduced by four, including two warships, the Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department reported. While Vietnamese ships were trying to get as close to the rig as possible in order to demand that it and all its escorting ships leave Vietnamese waters, the Chinese vessels continued to try to approach them to ram or blast the local watercrafts with high-powered water cannons, the department said. These foreign vessels mainly gathered in areas 10-11 nautical miles from the oil rig and were ready to speed toward any local vessels to prevent them from approaching the platform.

However, the local vessels tried to avoid circumstances that could lead to any collision with the foreign ones, and they managed to maintain their operation as close to the platform as possible.

China also sent many planes to the waters to spy on and threaten local vessels.

Among these planes were a fixed wing aircraft that appeared at 6:15 am and spy plane CMS B-3806 that hovered at an altitude of 250-300 meters at 11:25 am.

Meanwhile, 34 Chinese iron-clad fishing boats, with the support of two coast guard ships, continuously bullied Vietnamese fishing vessels in their traditional fishing ground about 43 nautical miles from the rig.

However, local fishing boats tried to maintain operations under the protection of Vietnamese fishery surveillance ships.

There were no signs of movement of the rig throughout Tuesday, the department said. 

Beijing has illegally maintained the rig and its guarding ships in Vietnam’s waters since May 1 despite strong protests from Hanoi, which demanded that China withdraw the rig from the area right away.

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