China Arrests Vietnamese Fishermen for Territorial Breach

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Saturday, July 05, 2014

 

Six Vietnamese fishermen have been detained by the crew of a Chinese vessel in the South China Sea, officials of both countries said on Friday, the latest in a two-month fracas between the Communist neighbours over maritime sovereignty.

Authorities from the two countries disagreed on where the boat was detained Thursday morning. Vietnamese officials said it was in disputed waters 56 km (35 miles) off the coast of China's Hainan Island and 290 km off Vietnam.

The arrests risk escalating the biggest breakdown in ties between Vietnam and China in three decades. China's top diplomat met Vietnam's leadership last month to try to defuse tensions, but talks ended in stalemate.

China's Foreign Ministry said the fishermen had "broken the law" by working in Chinese territorial waters 7 nautical miles south of the city of Sanya on Hainan.

"Relevant Chinese organs are investigating," said ministry spokesman Hong Lei. "China again requires Vietnam to take necessary measures and strengthen discipline and education of fishermen to prevent similar incidents from taking place again."

Vietnamese authorities lost contact with the fishermen on Thursday morning, when a crew member radioed authorities to say men from a Chinese vessel had come aboard the boat.

"One of the fisherman called local authorities, saying they were being arrested," an official from central Quang Ngai province told Reuters by telephone, requesting anonymity. "We've been unable to identify the Chinese boat."

Those arrests were the first since the row erupted in early May, when China deployed the Haiyang Shiyou 981 rig and commenced drilling 240 km off the coast of Vietnam in waters claimed by both countries.

That angered many Vietnamese, sparking rare protests and an orgy of arson, rioting and looting of Chinese factories in three industrialised provinces. Many turned out to be Taiwanese-owned.

DISPUTED WATERS, ISLANDS

Vietnam says the $1 billion platform is in its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone and on its continental shelf. China has said the rig is operating within its waters near the Paracel Islands, which it occupies. Both sides have argued for decades about sovereignty over the islands.

The two countries have been trading barbs for weeks, each accusing the other of intimidation and intentionally ramming rival vessels, which both deny. Vietnam has held news conferences showing footage of what it says are Chinese vessels working in pairs to corner Vietnamese boats and crash into them.

Vietnam's Prime Minister, Nguyen Tan Dung, on Thursday approved a 16 trillion dong ($753 million) budget to build 32 new vessels and support fishermen affected by the conflict.

China claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea, but parts of the potentially energy-rich waters are also subject to claims by thePhilippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan.

Vietnam's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Le Hai Binh, told reporters on Thursday that Vietnam was "carefully considering" legal action against China but any such move would have to be timed to its advantage.

(Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi and Ben Blanchard and Megha Rajagopalan in Beijing; Editing by Martin Petty and Ron Popeski)

($1=21,260 dong)


News

White House: Iranian Ships' Actions in Gulf Increase Risk of Miscalculation

Actions by Iranian vessels in several encounters with U.S. warships in the Gulf this week are cause for concern and increase risks of miscalculation, the White House said on Friday.

Rickmers Holding, E.R. Capital Drop Merger Plan

Rickmers Holding AG and E.R. Capital Holding have jointly decided not to pursue the merger of their ship management activities.   For many years the companies

C-Job Designs Flettner Freighter for Switijnk

The Dutch shipping company family Switijnk has contracted C-Job Naval Architects to develop a Rotor Sail-equipped design to meet their specific loading and sailing profile.

Vessels

C-Job Designs Flettner Freighter for Switijnk

The Dutch shipping company family Switijnk has contracted C-Job Naval Architects to develop a Rotor Sail-equipped design to meet their specific loading and sailing profile.

Damen Trading Sale hits 500th Vessel

30 years and 500 vessels later, Damen Trading is just getting started. Damen Trading’s story begins in 1986, with Damen Shipyards Group responding to growing market demand for used vessels.

Matson Orders Two ConRo Ships from NASSCO

Matson Navigation Company, Inc., a subsidiary of container shipper Matson, Inc., has signed a contract with U.S. shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO to build two

People in the News

Danish Maritime Authority Supports Maritime Cultural Days

The Danish Maritime Authority's buoy tender ’POUL LØWENØRN’ will be alongside in Korsør in connection with the Maritime Cultural Days. The vessel will be open to visitors throughout Saturday,

ABS Makes it Safer to ‘Walk to Work’

ABS announced the publication of The ABS Guide for Certification of Offshore Access Gangways. The new Guide addresses certification for safety systems used for “walk to work” (W2W) crew transfers.

Vard Bags Hapag-Lloyd Cruises contract for 2 Vessels

Vard Holdings Limited (“VARD”), one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialized vessels, is pleased to announce that it has secured contracts

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.3339 sec (3 req/sec)