CSIS: Ernest Bower (@BowerCSIS) and Gregory Poling (@GregPoling)
May 7, 2014
Tensions between China and Vietnam over the disputed South China Sea are at their highest levels in years. On May 2, the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) placed its deep sea drilling rig HD-981 in disputed waters south of the Paracel Islands. Vietnam objected to the placement, declaring that the is located on its continental shelf. China has since sent approximately 80 ships, including seven military vessels, along with aircraft to support the rig. In response, Hanoi dispatched 29 ships to attempt to disrupt the rig’s placement and operations.
The situation escalated dramatically on May 7, when Vietnam accused Chinese vessels of turning high powered water cannons on the Vietnamese ships and eventually ramming several vessels. The incidents reportedly left six Vietnamese injured and several of the country’s ships damaged. Hanoi released photos and videos of the…
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