Last update 6/9/2011 6:30:00 PM (GMT+7)

Chinese boats intrude Vietnam’s waters, cut cables again

VietNamNet Bridge – In the morning of June 9, a Chinese fishing boat accompanied by two fishery administration vessels cut cables of a Vietnamese oil exploration ship which was making a seismic survey within Vietnam’s continental shelf.

VN condemns Chinese intrusion

Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga

The ship, named Viking II, owned by the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) had its cables cut at 6am (Hanoi time), June 9 at 6o47’5”N, 109o17’5”E, which lies totally within Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf, said the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga at a press conference in Hanoi the same day.

The Viking II ship
Nga said that the three Chinese ships cruised over the Viking II’s prow and sped up when the Vietnamese ship was conducting seismic surveys. Though the Vietnamese ship fired warning signals, the Chinese ship numbered 6226 intentionally entered Vietnamese exploration area. Viking II’s cables then became tangled in the specialized cable-cutting equipment belonging to the Chinese 6226 ship. This hindered Viking II’s operations.

After that, two Chinese fishery administration vessels numbered 311 and 303 arrived on the scene, together with some other ships, and rescued the 6226 vessel.

The green spot is the site where the incident happened
The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson stated that such actions are deliberate and obviously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty and caused serious economic damage.

She said that the Chinese ships violated the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the acts went against common conceptions of leaders of both countries in maintaining peace and stability on the East Sea.

Notably, this incident came just days after three Chinese patrol vessels entered Vietnam’s EEZ and continental shelf and cut the cables of PetroVietnam’s Binh Minh 02 ship on May 26.

The actions caused East Sea disputes to become more strained, Nga stressed.

“China’s systematic action is aimed at turning the undisputed area into an area under dispute in order to materialize China’s nine-dotted line claim in the East Sea. This is unacceptable”, she stated.

Vietnam demands the Chinese side to immediately stop all actions violating Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction and compensate for losses, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson stressed.

Also, on the afternoon of June 9, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s representatives met with Chinese counterparts to protest against the violation.

“China’s nine-dotted line" or “U-shaped line” in the East Sea is completely groundless and runs counter to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of which China is a member. The claim has violated the exclusive economic zones and continental shelves of a number of countries in the region, including Vietnam, and prompted protests from these countries. China’s attempt to materialize this claim is in fact increasing tension in the region,” Nga said.

Vietnam also asked China to compensate for loses that Chinese ships caused to PetroVietnam.

Nga said that Vietnamese agencies and forces will closely combine to ensure normal economic activities within Vietnam’s waters.

At the press conference, the Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman also confirmed that websites of some agencies under the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry were hacked.

Thuy Chung