Seized Vietnam boat shows China double standard: Analysts

Vietnam`s call for China to release a captured fishing boat and nine crewmen points to Beijing`s contradictory policies on maritime disputes.

Last Updated: Oct 07, 2010, 18:14 PM IST

Hanoi: Vietnam`s call for China to release
a captured fishing boat and nine crewmen points to Beijing`s
contradictory policies on maritime disputes, analysts said
on Thursday ahead of key regional security talks.

Vietnamese foreign ministry officials on Tuesday met
their counterparts from the Chinese embassy in Hanoi to demand
the immediate and unconditional release of the vessel and its
crew, the official Vietnam News Agency reported.

It said they were seized almost one month ago while
fishing in the Paracels, a South China Sea archipelago
occupied by China but claimed by Vietnam.

The case illustrates "China`s double standard when it
comes to this kind of issue," said Ian Storey, a regional
security analyst at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
(ISEAS) in Singapore.

He said the seizure of "hundreds" of Vietnamese
fishermen by Chinese vessels in recent year’s contrasts with
Beijing`s response to the September 8 arrest by Japan of a
Chinese trawler captain. His boat collided with two Japanese
patrol vessels near a disputed island chain in the East China
Sea.

China issued threats and cut all high-level diplomatic
contact with Tokyo. It sent two Chinese fisheries patrol boats
to protect its fishermen near the islands, known as Senkaku in
Japan and Diaoyu in China.

Japan released the captain in late September but
China`s patrol boats did not withdraw until yesterday, Tokyo
said.

Given China`s reaction to Japan, Vietnam`s call for
the release of its vessel will "show the Chinese as
inconsistent," said Carl Thayer, a Vietnam specialist at The
University of New South Wales in Australia.

PTI