China fired flare at fishermen: Vietnam

2013-03-26 15:10
An elderly protester holds up a placard claiming a group of disputed islands belongs to Vietnam, as a group marches along a street near the Chinese embassy in downtown Hanoi. (File, AFP)

An elderly protester holds up a placard claiming a group of disputed islands belongs to Vietnam, as a group marches along a street near the Chinese embassy in downtown Hanoi. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Hanoi - Vietnam has accused a Chinese vessel of firing a flare on a Vietnamese fishing boat that set its cabin alight in the disputed South China Sea, where rival claims to gas-rich waters have strained relations between the countries.

The Vietnamese government did not say if anyone was injured in the incident last Wednesday but called it "very serious". It lodged a formal complaint with the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi.

The fishing boat was near the Paracel islands when an unidentified Chinese vessel chased it and fired the flare, the government said in a statement issued late on Monday.

Hanoi demanded that China punish those responsible and pay reparations to the fishermen whose boat was damaged.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said China had taken unspecified but "legitimate and reasonable" actions against Vietnamese boats working illegally in Chinese waters. He denied that any boats had been damaged, but gave few other details.


There have been other clashes in the waters, often related to claims of illegal fishing or violations of Chinese unilaterally imposed fishing moratoriums.

Vietnam and China each claim large parts of the South China Sea. The Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also maintain that parts of the sea are theirs.

The profile of the long-running disputes has been raised in recent years because of China's economic and military growth and subsequent American interest. The Paracels, which were occupied by China shortly before the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, is a particular flashpoint.

China last year incorporated the Paracels and most of its other South China Sea claims within the newly declared Sansha city-level administrative unit as way of raising the region's profile and increasing funds for infrastructure and economic development.

China is also boosting its civilian fisheries and maritime surveillance patrols in the area. China's navy also conducts missions in the South China Sea, although it has sought to keep military units out of conflict zones to avoid elevating tensions.

Read more on:    china  |  vietnam

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.