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Trawler wreck salvaged, China's actions slammed

Update: June, 03/2014 - 08:33
A Vietnamese fishing ship sunk by a Chinese ship on May 26 is towed to shore for repairs in Da Nang yesterday. The ship was rammed in Vietnamese waters. About 10 fishermen were rescued by other Vietnamese boats. — VNA/VNS Tran Le Lam
DA NANG (VNS) — Willful acts of violence by Chinese ships that endangered the lives of Vietnamese fishermen was roundly criticised yesterday as the wreck of sunken fishing trawler DNa TS 90152 was salvaged and hoisted to the docks of the Tho Quang shipyard.

A week ago, the trawler had been rammed by Chinese boats in Vietnamese waters off the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago.

The ship, which was towed back home by staff belonging to the Fishing Surveillance Department, was badly damaged and cannot be used anymore, local officials said.

"We spent time and money to tow the ship home as evidence of brutal and inhuman actions by Chinese ships in Viet Nam's seas," Tran Van Linh, chairman of Da Nang Fisheries Association, told Viet Nam News.

"It offers clear evidence of the evil attack by Chinese ships on Vietnamese fishing vessels. We want to send a message to people over the world that the Chinese ship (code 11209) intentionally rammed a Vietnamese fishing vessel with the aim of harming our fishermen," Linh said at the shipyard.

He said the wreckage will help executive agencies of Viet Nam initiate legal proceedings against the Chinese.

The deliberate action by the Chinese ship is a criminal offence, he added.

Huynh Thi Nhu Hoa, owner of the Vietnamese trawler, said she could not use the ship anymore because it was irreparably damaged.

"I have been crying for days because the ship is like my child. It is the breadwinner for my family and those of its crew. I am just keeping the wreck as real proof of the illegal and brutal actions of the Chinese ship," Hoa said.

"It offers clear evidence of the evil attack by Chinese ships on Vietnamese fishing vessels. We want to send a message to people over the world that the Chinese ship (code 11209) intentionally rammed a Vietnamese fishing vessel with the aim of harming our fishermen," Linh said at the shipyard.— VNA/VNS Photo Tran Le Lam

"I also call on State agencies to provide more support and protection for our fishermen."

On May 26, the Dna TS 90152 was fishing 17 nautical miles away from the illegally placed Chinese oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 when the Chinese ship rammed it from behind, causing it to topple and sink. Fortunately, the ship's crew was saved by Vietnamese coast guard vessels in the vicinity.

Despite the incident, the association will encourage all fishermen to go fishing in Vietnamese waters off the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes, Linh said.

"They (the fishermen) are live milestones of the country's islands and sea. They will be supported by 90 million of Vietnamese people," he added.

The association has 1,300 fishing trawlers and 350 members, of whom 250 have high-capacity boats engaged in deep sea fishing.

Vehement opposition

The Viet Nam Farmers' Association yesterday issued a statement protesting China's illegal placement of the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf.

The association condemned China's act as a serious violation of Viet Nam's sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction over its continental shelf and EEZ.

The act also severely infringes international law, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982 and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, to which China is a signatory, the statement said.

Such dangerous actions pose a direct threat to peace, stability, security and safety of navigation in the East Sea as well as the lives of Vietnamese fishermen, the statement said, adding that they also run counter to agreements reached by the two countries' leaders, profoundly undermining the friendship between both peoples as well as the trust that both sides have exerted every effort to build.

The statement said the association strongly supports the Vietnamese Government and law enforcement forces in safeguarding the country's legitimate sovereignty peacefully and in line with international law.

It further said that while Vietnamese farmers have always treasured the fine relations between the two peoples, the nation's sovereignty is sacred and the association denounces all violations.

Protest in Sweden

Photo dantri

Continuing the peaceful protests against China seen in Sweden on Sunday, nearly 300 Vietnamese students and their Filipino peers took to the streets of Stockholm, waving banners demanding that China remove its oil rig from Vietnamese waters.

The demonstrators made their way through thoroughfares before stopping in front of the Chinese embassy in the Swedish capital. Pre -recorded speeches in Vietnamese, English and Swedish denouncing the illegal presence of the Chinese rig were played at the event.

Earlier, on May 29, Vietnamese ambassador to Bulgaria, Le Duc Luu, gave a full account of the latest developments in the East Sea to 12 members of the Bulgaria – Viet Nam Friendship Parliamentarians' Group. The presentation was made at the request of group chairman Dimitar Dubov.

The group calls on China to adopt every measure to ease tension and curb any unilateral act that potentially undermines peace and stability in the region, Luu said.

He also urged China to respect the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, to which it is a signatory.

Luu said all parties concerned should hold talks to settle disputes through peaceful means, ensuring safety, security and maritime freedom in the East Sea.

He noted that ever since the tensions began, Viet Nam has exercised the utmost restraint, shown every gesture of goodwill and utilised all dialogue channels to communicate with Chinese authorities at different levels.

However, until now, China has failed to respond to Viet Nam's legitimate demands.

Surveillance

Viet Nam's fisheries surveillance ships continued to operate at about 6-8 nautical miles from China's Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig yesterday, continuing their high-intensity opposition to the illegal placement and demanding that the rig be withdrawn from Vietnamese waters.

A representative of the Viet Nam Fisheries Surveillance Department (VFSD) said that as the Vietnamese vessels approached, China deployed coast guard ships and tugboats in aggressive moves at about 7-9 nautical miles from the rig.

The Chinese ships blared their horns, rammed Viet Nam's law enforcement vessels and fired high-pressure water cannons at them.

However, the Vietnamese vessels persisted in their struggle and kept up their demand that China move the rig out of Vietnamese waters immediately.

China had up to 40 coast guard vessels, 14 cargo ships, 20 tugboats, 47 fishing vessels and four warships at the site yesterday. — VNS

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