Chinese vessels attack, sink VN boat
|Vietnamese fishing boats operate in the country's fishing ground. A Chinese ship on may 26 sank a Vietnamese fishing boat with ten members. China violates the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as the area where the rig is stationed is totally within Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. — Photo VNA/VNS
HA NOI (VNS) — A Chinese ship coded 11209 yesterday sank a Vietnamese fishing boat with 10 members on board. The incident happened in Vietnamese waters.
During regular operations in its traditional fishing grounds, boat DNa 90152 from Da Nang is reported to have been encircled by 40 fishing vessels of China and then being deliberately attacked by a Chinese vessel, 11209.
The incident occurred at about 4pm 17 nautical miles from where China's Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig has been sited.
The location is in the heart of traditional Vietnamese fishing grounds in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.
All 10 fishermen were rescued by other boats from Viet Nam.
It was not the first time Vietnamese fishing boats have been attacked by Chinese ships in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, National Assembly (NA) deputies yesterday raised strong opposition to China's installation of the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf.
On the sidelines of the assembly's seventh session, deputy Truong Trong Nghia from HCM City, said it was an illegal act and that Viet Nam had full legal basis to confirm its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago.
He urged international judicial organisations, including the United Nations, to reject China's sovereignty claim over the archipelago.
"China's act violates the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as the area where the rig is stationed is totally within Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf," he said.
Nghia said the NA, as the highest representative body of the people, would implement a range of activities to protect the territory on the basis of international law. He said this was aimed at forcing China to withdraw the rig and maintain a peaceful and stable environment for national development.
At the same time, he said that Viet Nam wished to preserve the traditional friendship between the two peoples.
Nghia added that the NA's motto of action reflected the will of the people, was in line with the real situation and was expected to have a positive impact, contributing to firmly defending Viet Nam's sovereignty and jurisdiction in the East Sea.
Chairman of the NA's Committee for External Relations, Tran Van Hang, said the complicated developments in the East Sea threatened peace and stability in the region.
He said the assembly's message represented the will and aspirations of voters nationwide and was in line with the Party and State's guidelines.
The message had also received support from around the world and that many nations had raised concern about the tension sparked by China.
Hang said that through Vietnamese embassies abroad, the NA should coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help other parliaments clearly understand the nature of the case, thus raising more voices against China's violation of international law.
On Sunday, Vietnamese communities in Sweden and Canada held rallies to protest against the oil rig.
About 400 Vietnamese, together with representatives of the Communist Party of Sweden, gathered in Malmo city to condemn China's moves.
Le Son Ha, chairman of the Vietnamese Culture Association in Sweden, said the demonstration aimed to show solidarity in denouncing China's violation.
Holding banners with messages in Vietnamese, English and Swedish, protesters rebuked China for violating Viet Nam's sovereignty in the East Sea through acts that have marred regional peace and security.
They also demanded China immediately withdraw its oil rig from Viet Nam's waters.
The organisers collected signatures on a letter to be sent to the Swedish Government and the European Union.
At the same time in Montreal, Canada, more than 100 Vietnamese people marched in front of the Chinese Consulate.
They carried placards declaring Viet Nam's sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes.
They called on the Chinese Government to act responsibly, respect international law and promptly remove its rig from Viet Nam's waters.
Two similar demonstrations are expected to be held in front of the Canadian parliament in Ottawa and the Chinese Consulate in Toronto.
On May 2, China illegally stationed the rig 80 nautical miles inside Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and 119 nautical miles from Viet Nam's Ly Son Island.
It has deployed a large number of ships to the area, including those from the military, coast guard, marine surveillance and marine patrol.
Chinese ships have repeatedly rammed into and fired water cannons at Vietnamese coast guard and fisheries ships, leaving many Vietnamese ships damaged and fisheries officers injured. — VNS