Stop Chinese robbery on high seas: Vietnamese fishermen

By Viet Tuan   June 10, 2019 | 04:56 pm PT
Stop Chinese robbery on high seas: Vietnamese fishermen
A fishing boat from Quang Nam Province which was robbed two tons of squid from a Chinese fishing vessel on June 2, 2019. Photo acquired by VnExpress.
Vietnam Fisheries Society slams China for robbing squid from Quang Nam fishermen, call for protection of lives and property.

The society has issued an appeal to local authorities, asking them to take drastic measures to prevent robberies at sea and safeguard the lives of Vietnamese fishermen.

Around 1:30 p.m. on June 2, a Vietnamese boat owned by Tran Van Nhan with 10 crew members on board was anchored around 22 nautical miles from Triton Island off the Paracel (Hoang Sa) Islands when a Chinese-flagged vessel approached and issued death threats against the Vietnamese fishermen, natives of Quang Nam Province. 

Shortly after, a group of men from the Chinese vessel forcibly boarded the Vietnamese boat and took away two tons of squid worth more than VND250 million ($10,706).

In a document issued to the Government Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other governmental institutions on Monday, the Vietnam Fisheries Society protested the Chinese vessel’s action, which it said seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and the rights and interests in the waters under Vietnam’s sovereignty.

Such actions make it difficult for local fishermen to exploit seafood in Vietnam's traditional fishing grounds, and authorities should lodge a strong protest with China, the society said.

It demanded that the Vietnamese government take drastic measures to prevent robbery at sea and ensure safety for Vietnamese fishermen.

Last March, Chinese vessel numbered 44101 rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat from the central province of Quang Ngai while it was fishing in the Da Loi (Discovery) Reef off the Paracel Archipelago, according to the National Committee for Incident, Natural Disaster Response and Search and Rescue.

Following the incident, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed over a diplomatic note to representatives from the Chinese embassy in Hanoi to protest the Chinese vessel’s action and demanded due compensation for Vietnamese fishermen.

China seized the Paracel Islands from South Vietnam by force in 1974, and has since been illegally occupying them.

In 2012 it built the so-called "Sansha City" with Woody Island as its seat, and has since built a runway capable of handling military aircraft and other supporting structures.

The so-called city also extends to a number of reefs in Vietnam's Spratly (Truong Sa) Islands that China seized by force in 1988 as well as the Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by the Philippines.

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