Vietnam says Chinese ships protecting a controversial oil rig in the South China Sea continue to attack Vietnamese ships on a daily basis, the Voice of America reported on June 4.
The head of Vietnam's Fisheries Surveillance Department, Nguyen Ngoc Oai, told VOA's Vietnamese service on June 4 that Chinese ships are still targeting Vietnamese ships for ramming and attacks with water cannon.
"Chinese ships rammed a vessel of Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance forces [Wednesday], breaking the entire balcony and sprayed water cannons damaging all the cabin glasses, communications equipment, and maritime devices on the ship," he said. He said no one was injured in the attack.
He added that the Chinese vessels are also increasing the range of their patrols around the oil rig to cover a larger area of water. "Previously, Chinese vessels protecting the oil rig operated within five-six nautical miles [9-11 kilometers] around the platform, but they have now expanded their ranges of operation to eight nautical miles" [or 15 kilometers]," he said.
Vietnamese and Chinese boats have repeatedly clashed since May 1 when China moved the oil rig to an area within what Hanoi considers its exclusive economic zone. Beijing says Vietnamese ships have harassed Chinese vessels in waters that China claims are its territory.
Copyright: Voice of America, 2014