Vietnam accuses China of sinking fishing boat
Vietnam has accused China of sinking one of its fishing boats near a disputed archipelago in the South China Sea.
Vietnamese authorities said on Thursday that on September 29, a Chinese vessel slammed into the fishing boat with 10 fishermen on board and sank it near the Paracels Islands – known as Xisha Islands in China – in the South China Sea.
According to reports, there was another Vietnamese fishing boat that rescued everyone on board the sunken vessel and the case was mentioned to authorities when the fishermen returned home two days ago.
Dang Dung, the captain of the boat, told AP that he and nine crew members were sleeping after a night of fishing when the Chinese vessel slammed the side of their boat and then five Chinese men jumped onto their boat.
Dung further claimed that the men were armed with knives and took away the boat’s navigation devices, fishing equipment and their fish catch.
About 12 hours later, after the boat sank, Dung and the crew then spent four hours floating with life vests in the water before being rescued by another Vietnamese fishing boat, he added.
China is yet to comment on the allegation.
China and Vietnam are locked in a longstanding territorial dispute in the South China Sea over the set of islands and waters claimed by both countries. Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the entire of the South China Sea, which is also claimed in part by Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. The waters are believed to sit atop vast reserves of oil and gas.