China’s drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 that has been deployed in Vietnam’s waters in the East Vietnam Sea since May 1 moved about 100 meters north on Sunday, the Vietnamese FisheriesResources Surveillance Department reported.
After making such a movement, the rig stopped moving on Monday, Ha Le, deputy head of the department, reported the same day.
The Chinese rig might have moved due to technical reasons, Le said, adding that Vietnamese vessels could not approach the rig, so they could not know how it had moved.
In talking with VnExpress newspaper over phone on May 26, Major General Nguyen Quang Dam, Commander of Vietnam Coast Guard, also confirmed that the rig moved on May 25, as shown on satellite images, and stopped moving on Monday.
Both Dam and Le said that the situation in the waters where the oil rig is illegally located was very tense.
On Monday a Vietnamese fisheries surveillance ship suffered heavy damage after being attacked by about 10 Chinese vessels.
Many other Vietnamese ships tried to avoid being rammed or blasted by water cannons by Chinese boats.
Such attacks by Chinese ships have so far injured 12 Vietnamese fisheries surveillance officers and damaged several boats.
The drilling platform has been planted at a location at 15°29’58’’ North latitude and 111°12’06’’ East longitude in the East Vietnam Sea, which lies well within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, since May 1.