Tuoi Tre conducts an interview centering around the June 9 incident in which a Chinese fishing boat intentionally rammed into exploration cables of the Viking II vessel chartered by PetroVietnam when it was conducting normal activities on Vietnamese sea territory.
Nguyen Hung Dung (Fourth from L) handing out certificates of merit to sailors from Binh Minh 02 in Nha Trang coastal province Photo: Tuoi Tre
According to Nguyen Hung Dung, director of PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation (PTSC), the company has been appointed by PetroVietnam to provide services for conducting seismic surveys to explore for oil and gas sources within Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf.
Could you tell us about the current spirit of staff and sailors on board Vietnamese vessels that are in charge of exploration and conducting seismic surveys?
I affirm that their working spirit is normal and indomitable because all of them are knowledgeable about Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction.
Locations that PTSC has been surveying totally lie within Vietnam’s continental shelf in accordance with international laws. I re-affirm that what PTSC is doing is legal business within Vietnam’s sea sovereignty, which is internationally recognized.
I do believe that our legal business will be protected by the Vietnamese government and supported by international public opinions.
How do you feel when seeing PTSC’s seismic-survey-conducting vessels being constantly harassed by Chinese boats?
- We not only encourage sailors and staff, we also instruct them to keep calm and not to act spontaneously in response to provocations from the Chinese side. The actions in which Chinese fishing boat numbered 62226 seriously violated Vietnamese sea sovereignty and rammed into our exploration area are deliberate.
We flared warning signals and sent messages through loudspeakers immediately after seeing the Chinese boat 62226 harassing and hindering the Viking 2’s operations in order to inform them that they had violated Vietnam’s sea sovereignty. However, they kept on with their illegal activities. Such intentional actions show that 62226 is not a normal fishing boat.
What are your ideas about the Chinese foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lie’s pubic speech claiming that armed Vietnamese military vessels had chased away Chinese fishermen?
We totally protest against that speech because we witnessed all happenings of the incident. Specifically, the Chinese 62226 ship cruised over the Viking 2’s bow and sped up when the Vietnamese ship was conducting seismic surveys.
Could you tell us about the current working situation of Binh Minh 02 and Viking 02?
We will continue to carry out normal surveys in our continental shelf. All staff and sailors understand thoroughly this obligation. Binh Minh 02 is now conducting surveys as normal while Viking II is urgently fixing problems to continue its mission.
We affirm that the task of conducting seismic surveys by the Binh Minh 02 and Viking II is not only meant to serve economic purposes but also bears political significance, contributing to asserting and protecting Vietnamese sovereignty.
Such activities as conducting seismic surveys and exploring for gas and oil totally take place on Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf which belongs to Vietnamese territory in line with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other related international laws.
Therefore, PetroVietnam has pledged to create favorable conditions for all sailors and staff on board the Binh Minh 02 and Viking 02 to best accomplish their missions.
What are your solutions to coping with harasses conducted by Chinese boats against Binh Minh 02 and Viking 02 and other ships in the future?
PTSC is only a mere company so we just have technical equipment to conduct seismic surveys. However, after the Binh Minh 02 and Viking have been harassed many times by Chinese boats, PetroVietnam will collaborate with other relevant agencies to map out strategies and solutions to prevent similar acts.