Vietnam has presented a diplomatic note to China to express its objection and demand for compensation after a Vietnamese fishing boat was run after by a Chinese coast guard vessel and eventually sank near the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago earlier this month.
The Consular Department under Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Thursday it had met with representatives of the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi to present a diplomatic note on Wednesday.
The document showed Vietnam’s protest against the action, which violated Vietnamese sovereignty over Hoang Sa, threatened the lives of the Vietnamese fishermen, and damaged their property and legitimate interests.
In the note, the department requested the Chinese Embassy to inform China’s foreign ministry and relevant agencies about the incident in order to strictly deal with the crew members of the vessel, and to prevent similar situations from happening in the future.
The Southeast Asian country also demanded China make proper compensation for the damage done to the Vietnamese fishers.
At around 10:00 am on March 7, the fishing boat from the central province of Quang Ngai, carrying five crew members, was anchoring in the vicinity of Da Loi Reef in Hoang Sa when it was approached by the coast guard vessel from China.
The Chinese ship started firing its water cannon at the boat and then chased it away.
During the pursuit, the fishing boat crashed into a reef and sank in an area about 0.5 nautical miles northwest of Da Loi Reef.
No one was injured in the incident and the fishermen managed to cling onto the prow until they were rescued by another Vietnamese fishing boat at 1:00 pm the same day.