(Presented by Mr. Ngo Ngoc Thu,
Vice Commander and Chief of Staff of the Vietnamese Coast Guard)
I. On the Chinese side
1. Regarding the Oil Rig Haiyang Shiyou- 981
- At 5 am on 2 May 2014, China installed the oil rig at 15029’08’’N - 111012’06’’E. This location is 17.3 nautical miles South of Tri Ton (Triton) Island and 80 miles deep inside Viet Nam’s continental shelf, or 119 nautical miles from of Ly Son Island.
- At 5 am, 27 May, Vietnamese Coast Guard noticed the oil rig was moving in the East - Northeast direction and stopped at 11:15, at 21.86 nautical miles to the E-NE of the original location, 143 nautical miles East of Ly Son Island and 25 nautical miles South East of Tri Ton Island.
- On 1 June, the oil rig was relocated slightly and settled at 15033’21’’N - 111034’35’’E. (approximately 140m to the West - Northwest of the former location.
Until today, the location of the oil rig is generally settled, deep within the continental shelf and the EEZ of Viet Nam.
2. The escort force of the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981
- Everyday, China employs from 30 to 137 escort vessels, including 6 types of warship such as: missile destroyer (#169, 170), missile frigate (# 523,534,571, 572), fast attack craft (# 752, 753), anti-submarine patrol ship (# 787, 789), minesweeping vessel (# 839, 840, 842, 843), and amphibious landing ship (# 989, 998, 999). Besides, there are from 33 to 42 ships including coast guard, coastal patrol, maritime surveillance and Fisheries Law Enforcement ships, along with 9 to 11 towing and service vessels, 20-22 transport vessels, 1-3 oil tankers and 15-60 fishing boats. At the peak time, China employed a total of 137 vessels of various types in one day to guard the oil rig.
- The number of escort and service fleet remains fairly stable at 70 to 80 ships but the number of fishing boats ranges between 15 and 60. On 27 May, 9 warships were deployed to escort the oil rig as it was moving, including the missile destroyer (#170), missile frigates( #523, 534, 571, 572), anti-submarine patrol ships (#787 and 789) and minesweeping vessels (#840 and 843).
- China constantly uses surveillance planes, helicopters (#8321, 3808, 3586, 9401, B.7112, B.7115), early warning aircrafts (KJ200-9421) and reconnaissance aircraft class TU154 to hover over Vietnamese ships from 100-1000m heights.
- The Chinese escort fleet is divided into 3 rings: the inner ring includes 10-15 ships at 1-1.5 nautical miles from the rig, the middle ring consists of 40-45 ships at 4.5-5 nautical miles from the rig and the outer ring includes 25-35 ships at 10-12 nautical miles from the oil rig. China constantly deployed 9 to 12 ships to closely follow Vietnamese vessels, ready to hinder and collide with Vietnamese vessels at 10-12 nautical away from the oil rig.
- Chinese escort ships are ready to cut off, rear-block, approach the side and collide with Vietnamese ships when the latters approach to voice protests against the violation of the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981. Chinese ships also rammed, fired water cannon to damage Vietnamese ships and their equipment. Chinese ships even used high frequency sonar systems and high-lumen light to negatively affect the mental and physical health of the Vietnamese crew. The details are as follows:
+ At 4 pm, 26 May, at 15016’42’’N - 111001’30’’E (16.5 nautical miles Southwest of the oil rig) the Vietnamese fishing boat # DNa-90152 was rammed and sunk by the Chinese fishing boat #11209. The 10 Vietnamese fishermen on board were flipped into the sea and were luckily rescued by Vietnamese boats.
+ At 4:23 pm, 1 June, at 12 nautical miles West-Southwest of the oil rig, Chinese Coast Guard vessel #46105 fired water cannon and rammed Vietnamese Coast Guard vessel #2016, breaking 4 holes in the right side of the latter, at 40-50 cm above its water line. 7 rail posts and 1 air vent pipe of the Vietnamese ship were also broken.
- There were about 40-45 Chinese fishing boats, divided into two groups, constantly obstructing the fishing operations of Vietnamese fishing boat at their traditional Hoang Sa fishing ground at 30 to 40 nautical miles South West and West-South West of the oil rig.
Since 3 May, Chinese escort vessels have been ramming and firing water cannon at Vietnamese vessels, causing injuries to 12 Vietnamese fishery control officers and damage to 24 Vietnamese law enforcement vessels (5 Coast Guard vessels and 19 Fishery Control vessels).
+ The five damaged Vietnamese Coast Guard vessels (# 4032, 4033, 2012, 2013, 2016).
II. Vietnamese maritime law enforcement forces
- They promptly showed up at the site to perform law enforcement duties and prevent the violation of Vietnamese waters by China's oil rig and escort fleet. The main measures include approaching the Chinese oil-rig and escort vessels to broadcast reassertions of Vietnamese sovereignty and demand them leave the Vietnamese waters, filming and taking pictures to document the activities of China's oil rig and escort vessels as evidence. Vietnamese Coast Guard vessels have repeatedly approached China's oil rig to demand them leave Viet Nam's waters. The message was in Vietnamese, Chinese and English.
- After a month, despite the disruptive and destructive activities of Chinese vessels, including ramming and firing water cannon, the Vietnamese Coast Guard and Fishery Control forces continued with the tactic of avoiding collision with Chinese vessels. Vietnamese civilian law enforcement vessels did not ram or fire water cannon at Chinese escort and fishing vessels, but merely used speakers to demand China withdraw its oil-rig and escort ships out of the Vietnamese waters. The Vietnamese law enforcement forces continued to resolutely defend national sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of Viet Nam in its EEZ and continental shelf.