07 May 2014
Vietnamese Marine Police ships patrolling Vietnamese waters were rammed by Chinese marine police, Ngo Ngoc Thu, vice commander of the High Command of Vietnam Marine Police said Wednesday.
Thu was speaking at an international press conference held in Hanoi after China deployed a giant mobile drilling rig to search for oil and gas inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone in the East Sea, also known as the South China Sea.
Videos showed at the press conference showed Chinese ships, backed by helicopters, aggressively obstructing Vietnamese ships.
The Chinese ships also sprayed water cannons, damaging Vietnamese vessels and injuring their crew members, Thu said.
… “The decision to deploy the rig within Vietnam’s EEZ [exclusive economic zone] but still relatively close to Hainan is likely to reflect concerns about deploying such an expensive asset too far offshore, where China is unable to defend it.,” Euan Graham, a maritime analyst with Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, told Thanh Nien News.
“If the rig is drilling within Vietnam’s EEZ, then this is a deliberate and calculated effort to test Hanoi’s resolve,” he said.
“Yet China’s response still shows a reluctance to use military force first.”
GPO / IDSS / RSIS / Print
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