Viet­nam fish­er­men ‘at­tacked by Chi­nese boats’: state me­dia

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

A Viet­namese fish­ing crew said they were at­tacked by a Chi­nese ves­sel us­ing wa­ter can­non in dis­puted wa­ters near the flash­point Para­cel Is­lands, Viet­nam’s state me­dia re­ported Mon­day.

The wooden Viet­namese fish­ing boat from cen­tral Quang Ngai prov­ince was near the Paracels — known as Hoang Sa in Viet­namese — on June 7 when it was at­tacked by a red-and-white painted Chi­nese ves­sel, the Lao Dong news­pa­per said.

“The crew sig­naled to the (Chi­nese) boat not to use wa­ter can­non as they feared their boat would sink, but they fired the wa­ter di­rectly at them,” the re­port said.

One of the 13-man crew was knocked over and broke his leg dur­ing the al­ter­ca­tion, the re­port said, quot­ing the crew.

A num­ber of Viet­namese staterun news­pa­pers ran pho­tos of the sailor with his leg in plas­ter.

In a sep­a­rate in­ci­dent, on June 10, an­other Viet­namese fish­ing boat in the same area was sur­rounded by four Chi­nese boats and had their equip­ment and catch stolen, the Lao Dong news­pa­per said.

The com­mu­nist neigh­bors are locked in a long­stand­ing mar­itime dis­pute over is­lands and fish­ing rights in the South China Sea.

Last year, ten­sions came to a head when Bei­jing moved a deep wa­ter oil rig into wa­ters claimed by Hanoi, trig­ger­ing deadly anti-China ri­ots in Viet­nam.

Swept along by na­tion­al­ist sen­ti­ment and forced to ven­ture fur­ther out to sea to fill their nets, Viet­nam’s com­mer­cial fish­ing fleet have of­ten found them­selves on the front lines of the mar­itime dis­pute.

Both Viet­nam and China claim full sovereignty over the Para­cel Is­lands, which Bei­jing have con­trolled since 1974 af­ter seiz­ing them from the then-South Viet­nam regime in a brief battle. China’s claim to al­most the en­tire South China Sea con­flicts with those of the Philip­pines, Viet­nam, Malaysia and Tai­wan.

Viet­nam’s Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

AP

Pak­istani camel rider waits for cus­tomers at Clifton Beach in Karachi, Pak­istan on Sun­day, June 14.

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