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China shifts oil rig again, Vietnam boats harassed
Publication Date : 11-06-2014
43 Chinese fishing boats, backed by two coastguard vessels, continue to encircle Vietnamese fishing boats near the rig
China's oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981, illegally stationed in Vietnamese waters, yesterday moved east-southeast to an unfixed position, according to the Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance Department.
This is the third time the rig has been shifted since it was positioned at the beginning of May.
About 43 Chinese fishing boats, backed by two coastguard vessels, continued to encircle Vietnamese fishing boats operating in their traditional fishing grounds near the rig.
They even tried into make it look like they were being rammed by Vietnamese boats by sailing past and suddenly reversing into them.
Throughout the day, China maintained 38 coast guard vessels, 13 cargo ships, 19 tugboats and six warships organised in groups around the rig at distances of 7-8 and 9-11 nautical miles.
They were ready to ram against and fire water cannons at Vietnam's fisheries surveillance vessels to keep them away from the rig.
Despite the Chinese aggression, Vietnamese fishing boats stayed about 30-40 nautical miles from the rig and continued fishing.
At the beginning of May, China illegally dispatched the rig and a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft to Vietnam's waters and positioned it at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude, 80 miles deep inside Vietnam's continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.
On May 26, Chinese ships sank a fishing boat belonging to Da Nang fishermen operating in the traditional fishing grounds near Vietnam's Hoang Sa archipelago.
On June 1, Chinese ships seriously damaged ship 2016 of the Vietnam Coast Guard, causing holes on its side.
On June 7, Chinese ships deliberately rammed into Vietnam's fisheries surveillance ship KN-635, causing more damage.