Viet­nam ac­cuses China of at­tack­ing its fish­er­men

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

A Viet­namese of­fi­cial on Wed­nes­day ac­cused China of at­tack­ing its fish­er­men in three sep­a­rate in­ci­dents over the past week in the dis­puted South China Sea.

Nguyen Thanh Hung, head of the fish­eries union in Binh Chau vil­lage in cen­tral Quang Ngai province where the fish­er­men came from, said a Viet­namese trawler with 12 crew was in­ter­cepted by a Chi­nese mil­i­tary ves­sel while fish­ing near the Para­cel is­lands on Sun­day. He said the Chi­nese seized their catch and fish­ing equip­ment.

Hung said this fol­lowed in­ci­dents last week where Chi­nese mil­i­tary ves­sels used wa­ter cannon to try to drive away a Viet­namese fish­ing boat, in­jur­ing two fish­er­men, while another Viet­namese fish­ing boat was in­ter­cepted and robbed of its catch and equip­ment while fish­ing near the Paracels.

“I strongly protest these Chi­nese ac­tions,” Hung said by tele­phone from Quang Ngai province. “This is our tra­di­tional fish­ing grounds, it’s within Viet­namese sovereignty and our fisher- men have been fish­ing there for gen­er­a­tions.”

The in­ci­dents come as Viet­nam’s for­eign min­is­ter, Pham Binh Minh, who is also the deputy prime min­is­ter, be­gan a three-day visit to China on Wed­nes­day to talk about bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion, with the sit­u­a­tion in the South China Sea ex­pected to be high on the agenda.

Viet­nam claim sovereignty over the Paracels, which were oc­cu­pied by China af­ter it drove off the U.S.-backed South Viet­namese navy in 1974, one year be­fore the end of the Viet­nam War.

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