Friday, 26 Apr 2019

Vietnam demands China compensate sunken ship

Updated at Thursday, 21 Mar 2019, 18:37
The Hanoitimes - The society urged the government to increase patrol in Vietnam’s territorial waters, mostly in Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) islands.
The Vietnam Fisheries Society (VINAFIS) has urged China to compensate Vietnamese fishermen whose ship was rammed by a Chinese vessel in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands earlier this month. 
A Vietnamese fishing boat. Photo: VnExpress
A Vietnamese fishing boat. Photo: VnExpress
Ramming and leaving after the attack were “inhumane” when threatening fishermen to dead and damaging their assets, VINAFIS said in a letter sent to Vietnamese authorized agencies, including the Government Office, the Party’s Committee for Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

VINAFIS asked the authorized agencies to strongly protest China and demand them to stop bullying in the Vietnamese waters. 

The society urged the government to increase patrol in Vietnam’s territorial waters, mostly in Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos to avoid distress for fishermen who do fishing within the Vietnamese waters. 

On March 6, Chinese vessel 44101 rammed Vietnamese fishing boat QNg-90819 near Discovery Reef (Da Loi in Vietnamese), a Vietnam-administered feature in the Paracel group. 
The crewmembers of the Vietnamese vessel which capsized before sinking were rescued after two hours by another Vietnamese boat. Vietnamese media reported that Chinese authorities had been called for help but no efforts had been made at all.

China and Vietnam have presented different accounts of what led to the sinking of a fishing boat.

The Communist Party of China’s official newspaper People’s Daily reported a different set of events, underscoring that a Chinese vessel had responded to a distress call from a Vietnamese fishing boat and added that the boat was found sunk at the site. A spokesperson at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said that China had sent a rescue vessel to assist the Vietnamese fishing crew but revealed no details about the rescue and the name of the Chinese involving vessel. 

China and Vietnam have faced off in the South China Sea in recent years. In 2014, China deployed an oil exploration rig into Vietnamese waters. The oil rig incident led to a surge of anti-Chinese sentiment in Vietnam at the time, which saw large-scale protests, AP reported.

China administers its claims in the South China Sea through an expansive fleet of “maritime militia” vessels, which are nominally civilian fishing and other commercial vessels.

Nguyen Viet Thang, head of the VINAFIS, said that Chinese vessels have immediately rammed Vietnamese fishing boats if they found the boats fishing around the island groups rather than warned and chased away as before. 
Linh Pham
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