China releases 9 Vietnamese fishermen
Hanoi: China has freed nine Vietnamese fishermen held for the past one month after they were caught in disputed South China Sea waters, Vietnam`s Minister of Defence Phung Quang Thanh said on Tuesday.
Thanh said the release came "unconditionally" and was an expression of China`s goodwill.
"We appreciated it," Thanh told reporters on the sidelines of inaugural talks by regional defence ministers, where the South China Sea was a key issue.
Vietnam last week called for release of the fishing boat and its crew that were captured while fishing in the Paracels, a South China Sea archipelago occupied by China but claimed by Vietnam.
Vietnam and China are engaged in a long-running dispute over control of the Paracels and a more southerly archipelago, the Spratlys.
Since last year, Vietnam has reported numerous cases of fishing boats and equipment being seized by China.
Taiwan also claims the Paracels and has a claim to the Spratlys, as do ASEAN members the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.
Territorial disputes in Asia-Pacific waters pose a threat to regional stability, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates warned today at the regional talks, but his Chinese counterpart insisted Beijing`s growing military might is purely defensive.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Soldier buried under Siachen avalanche snow rescued after six days
- DNA: Analysis on India's naval prowess at International Fleet Review
- Essel Group launches 'Asha 2022' affordable housing scheme
- Soldier buried under avalanche found alive at Siachen glacier
- PM Modi praises Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, deems mission successful
- 'Achhe din': Residents of PM Modi's adopted village to get free electricity, work in full swing
- Deepika Padukone, Vin Diesel in first ‘xXx: The Return of Xander Cage’ video – Watch
- How Lance Naik Hanumanthappa survived 6 days below 25 feet of snow in Siachen
- Siachen miracle: Lance Naik Koppad's wife terms her husband's 'news of being alive' as 'rebirth for family'