Vietnam has strongly criticized the positioning last week of the submersible China National Offshore drill rig Haiyang Shiyou 98 in disputed waters 120 nautical miles off its central coast and which Vietnam claims as its exclusive economic zone. Matters further escalated this week when Vietnamese naval ships and Chinese vessels were reported to have collided as the Vietnamese navy attempted to intervene. Hanoi said it would do everything possible to protect its rights and does not rule out taking legal action against China at an international tribunal. Philippine police also seized a Chinese fishing boat and detained its 11 crew in another disputed part of the South China Sea this week. Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, China and Taiwan all have competing claims in the region.