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China sends fighter jets to guard oil rig in disputed waters: Vietnamese official

Published on May 11, 2014 8:43 PM
 
Protesters gather outside the Chinese embassy during an anti-China protest in Hanoi May 11, 2014. Vietnam on Sunday, May 11, 2014, accused China of dispatching fighter jets to guard an oil rig in contested waters, as protesters in Hanoi staged one of the country's largest ever anti-China demonstrations. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

HANOI (AFP, XINHUA) - Vietnam on Sunday accused China of dispatching fighter jets to guard an oil rig in contested waters, as protesters in Hanoi staged one of the country's largest ever anti-China demonstrations.

Over the weekend, two groups of Chinese military aircraft flew above Vietnamese ships, which were tasked with preventing the rig from drilling, Colonel Ngo Ngoc Thu, Vice Commander and Chief of Staff of Vietnam's Coast Guard, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Sunday.

He said that China on Saturday expanded the radius of the protecting zone for the drilling platform to 10-15 nautical miles from the previous 5-7 nautical miles, with vessels deployed to block Vietnam's access to the rig.

The colonel's remark came as some 1,000 people, from war veterans to students, took to the street to protest against Beijing.

 
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