China denies assaulting Vietnamese fishermen

Last Updated: Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 16:51

Beijing: Amid its dispute with Vietnam over
sovereignty of some islands in the South China Sea, China
today refuted reports that its maritime forces assaulted and
robbed 11 Vietnamese fishermen near the disputed Xisha
Islands.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei told a media
briefing here that Chinese maritime forces did not use force
in the law-enforcement process nor they boarded the Vietnamese
ship.

Media reports said the Vietnamese fishermen had been
assaulted and robbed by the Chinese side.

Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi
said today that China`s action seriously infringed upon
Vietnam`s sovereignty and gravely threatened the lives and
security of its fishermen.

Hong reaffirmed that China has indisputable sovereignty
over the Xisha Islands and its adjacent waters.
Chinese departments have recently expelled from China some
Vietnamese ships committing fishing piracy in the waters of
the Xisha Islands, Hong said, noting China`s action is
legitimate and lawful.

In the spirit of humanism, China has always offered rescue
assistance to Vietnamese fishermen in real distress, and
Vietnam has also expressed gratitude for this help, Hong
added.

Hong asked the Vietnamese side to respect China`s
sovereignty over the Xisha Islands and take effective measures
to strengthen education and regulation of its fishermen, in a
bid to stop illegal fishing operations and safeguard the
China-Vietnam friendship.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 16:51

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