Vietnam protests Chinese aggression, robbery on South China Sea



A fishing boat from Quang Nam Province which was robbed two tons of squid from a Chinese fishing vessel on June 2, 2019. Photo by Quang Nam Newspaper.

Condemning Chinese vessels for robbing Vietnamese property in the South China Sea, Vietnam has demanded action against such crimes.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked with representatives from the Chinese embassy in Hanoi on Wednesday to protest Chinese vessels’ actions in driving away Vietnamese fishing boats, confiscating properties and fishing equipment from Vietnamese fishermen in the Paracel (Hoang Sa) Islands of the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea.

It demanded that China handle the situation properly.

“Vietnam strongly opposes these actions and requests that China take strict action against the Chinese vessels, properly compensate the Vietnamese fishermen and educate Chinese crew members to refrain from repeating such acts in the future,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang told the press on Thursday.

The actions by Chinese vessels violate Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Paracels and its legitimate rights and interests in its waters. They also violate international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Hang said.

It also goes against the Vietnam-China Agreement on the Basic Principles Guiding the Resolution of Maritime Issues, threatening the lives and properties of Vietnamese fishermen active in the waters, she said.

Hang was responding to questions regarding recent reports of a Vietnamese fishing boat being chased way and having their properties and fishing tools robbed by a Chinese vessel in the Paracels.

At around 1:30 p.m. on June 2, a Vietnamese boat from the central province of Quang Nam with 10 crew members on board was anchored around 22 nautical miles from Triton Island off the Paracels when a Chinese-flagged vessel approached and issued death threats against them. Then a group of men from the Chinese vessel boarded the Vietnamese boat and took away two tons of squid worth more than VND250 million ($10,706).