Vietnamese fishermen’s fishing activities and Vietnamese Fishery Resource Surveillance’s law enforcement in the waters of Viet Nam where China illegally placed the Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig
18/06/2014 12:23 (GMT+7)

Presented by Mr. Ha Le, Deputy Chief of the Fishery Resource Surveillance, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development at the International Press Conference on June 16th, 2014

1. The general situation at the site where China illegally placed the Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig

After detecting China’s illegal placement of the oil rig in the waters of Viet Nam, violating Viet Nam’s sovereignty and seriously disrupting the normal and lawful fishing operation of Vietnamese fishermen in their traditional fishing fields in Viet Nam’s Hoang Sa (Paracels) Islands, Vietnamese Fishery Resource Surveillance and Coast Guard forces have been dispatched to the site to communicate and request China to withdraw its oil rig from Viet Nam’s seas, performed their maritime law enforcement duties and assisted Vietnamese fishermen.

China operated an average of 120 vessels per day, including many military vessels, surveillance aircrafts and helicopters to intimidate Vietnamese law enforcement forces. Chinese ships have intentionally attacked and intimidated Vietnamese Fishery Resource Surveillance vessels under the form of surrounding, ramming, colliding and firing water cannon. Chinese forces even approached alongside Vietnamese ships, threw hard objects to Vietnamese fishery surveillance vessels and used high-sonic sound, high-powered headlight to affect the psychology and health of Vietnamese Fishery Resource Surveillance forces. Besides, Chinese vessels also used tactics to trap Vietnamese ships to make collision by such actions as rear-blocking, crossing the bow of Vietnamese ships to make Vietnamese vessels ram or deliberately push back to ram into Vietnamese vessels, thereby creating false evidences slandering Vietnamese vessels ramming into the Chinese ships. We have full materials and evidences to prove and affirm that there has not been any case that Viet Nam intentionally rammed into China's vessels as reported by Chinese side.

To date 23 Vietnamese Fishery Resource Surveillance vessels have been intentionally rammed and fired of high-pressure water cannons by the Chinese side (there have been serious damages such as breakage of wave barriers, distortion of cabin, breakage of cabin glass, damage to maritime equipments such as communication devices, radar, compass, navigation operational tools, anchor winch system ......). In addition, 15 Fishery Resource Surveillance personnels were injured.

In May 2014, China unilaterally applied a fishing ban to foreign fishing vessels in some areas in the East Sea for 2 ½ months starting on May 16th 2014 (including the waters of Hoang Sa, Viet Nam). However, right from May 16th 2014, China dispatched about 50 ironclad fishing vessels to the site where the drilling platform was placed. It is evident that Chinese fishing vessels present here not for fishing purposes but in fact to join Chinese marine law enforcement and military forces to hamper, intimidate and damage Vietnamese fishing vessels (China used specialized tools to cut nets; ruin fishing gears, communication equipments and machinery on board ....). China also exerted inhuman treatment to Vietnamese fishermen, sank Vietnamese fishing boats which performed their legal and regular fishing operations in the traditional fishing fields of Viet Nam.

Since 1st May 2014, during normal production in traditional fishing fields in the Hoang  Sa of Viet Nam, Vietnamese fishing vessels were chased and intimidated by China hundreds of times; 17 Vietnamese vessels were damaged by Chinese law enforcement force and fishing vessels, leaving dozens of fishermen wounded, including 03 fishermen who were seriously injured.

2. Chinese Foreign Ministry announced (at the press conference on 13th  June 2014) that: "In the afternoon of May 26th, a Vietnamese fishing vessel repeatedly rammed into Chinese fishing vessels and was capsized by itself. The Chinese vessels attempted to rescue, but there were 30 Vietnamese vessels quickly surrounded this fishing vessel, therefore Chinese side was not able to rescue. Therefore, there is no evidence that Chinese vessels prevented rescue efforts".

Regarding this issue, we would like to reaffirm that: In this area, Vietnamese fishing vessels are often chased and intimidated by the Chinese side. A particularly serious incident occurred on 26th May 2014. A Vietnamese fishing vessel numbered DNa-90152-TS carrying 10 fishermen on board went fishing 17 nautical miles away from the Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig, was surrounded and intimidated by many Chinese fishing vessels and Chinese vessel numbered 11209 intentionally chased, rammed and sank the DNa-90152-TS until it capsized. In addition, Chinese fishing vessels also prevented Vietnamese vessels from carrying out rescue efforts for 10 fishermen on board of DNa-90152-TS.

We oppose and reject the statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China at the press conference on 13th June 2014. We have full materials and evidences to prove the wrongdoings of China.

On the ground, Viet Nam Fishery Resource Surveillance continues to exercise self- restrain, avoid collision and resolutely uses peaceful means to persuade and request China to withdraw from the waters where they are operating illegally. We will continue to conduct law enforcements at sea and we are determined to defend Viet Nam’s sovereignty, fishing fields and support Vietnamese fishermen to continue their fishery exploitation in Viet Nam’s waters. 

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