A fishing boat of central Quang Ngai Province with 15 fishermen on board was hit broken by a Chinese ship while it was operating off Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago in the East Sea on May 20, authorities reported.
>> Fishery control stations to be set up on Truong Sa >> Chinese fishing boats violate Vietnam’s territorial waters>> China’s attack on fishing boat is inhuman: law experts Pham Dinh Chi, chief secretariat of the province’s Binh Son District People’s Committee, said the Binh Thanh Commune People’s Committee had reported that a local fishing boat, QNg 90917 TS, was attacked by a Chinese boat that day while it was fishing off the islands in the East Sea. After receiving the report, the district authorities have sent an urgent report to the provincial People’s Committee. That afternoon, while the boat was to about 27 nautical miles off the Tri Ton Island to was, part of the Hoang Sa, it encountered a fleet of 18 Chinese ships. The boat then tried to sail back toward inland in Quang Ngai, but these foreign ships surrounded it, preventing it from escaping to the shore. During the seige, crew members on the Chinese ships photographed and videotaped the Vietnamese boat. At 5:30 pm one of the Chinese ships crashed into the right side of the fishing boat twice, causing it being broken, said Tran Van Trung, the boat’s captain. The attacking ship was painted red and had number 246 on its hull, Trung said. The boat eventually managed to return to the Quang Ngai shore on May 21 night. The total damage causing the attack is estimated at VND100 million (US$4,800), Trung added.
A similar case happened on March 20, when the QNg 96382 TS fishing boat of Quang Ngai was chased and shot at by Chinese vessels while it was operating off the Hoang Sa archipelago.
Answering reporters’ queries about the case, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Luong Thanh Nghi said on March 25 that this is an extremely serious incident that violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and threatened the lives of and causes damage to Vietnamese fishermen.
In another related development, China recently deployed 32 fishing boats to the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago area in the East Sea. At a press conference in Hanoi on May 9, Nghi said that Vietnam has indisputable sovereignty over Truong Sa, so all activities of parties in this area without Vietnam’s approval violate the country’s sovereignty.