Vietnam accuses China of firing flare at fishermen
Hanoi: Vietnam has accused a Chinese vessel of firing a flare on a Vietnamese fishing boat that set its cabin alight in the disputed South China Sea, where rival claims to gas-rich waters have strained relations between the countries.
The Vietnamese government did not say if anyone was injured in the incident last Wednesday but called it "very serious." It lodged a formal complaint with the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi.
The fishing boat was near the Paracel islands when an unidentified Chinese vessel chased it and fired the flare, the government said in a statement issued yesterday.
Hanoi demanded that China punish those responsible and pay reparations to the fishermen whose boat was damaged.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China had taken unspecified but "legitimate and reasonable" actions against Vietnamese boats working illegally in Chinese waters. He denied that any boats had been damaged, but gave few other details.
There have been other clashes in the waters, often related to claims of illegal fishing or violations of Chinese unilaterally imposed fishing moratoriums.
Vietnam and China each claim large parts of the South China Sea. The Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also maintain that parts of the sea are theirs.
The profile of the long-running disputes has been raised in recent years because of China`s economic and military growth and subsequent American interest. The Paracels, which were occupied by China shortly before the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, is a particular flashpoint.
China last year incorporated the Paracels and most of its other South China Sea claims within the newly declared Sansha city-level administrative unit as way of raising the region`s profile and increasing funds for infrastructure and economic development.
China is also boosting its civilian fisheries and maritime surveillance patrols in the area. China`s navy also conducts missions in the South China Sea, although it has sought to keep military units out of conflict zones to avoid elevating tensions.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Watch - IIT-Kharagpur develops superpower drone 'BHIM' that could aid soldiers in war zones
- Anti-Romeo squad launched: Has moral policing started in UP?
- Jharkhand: Congress leader, 3 others killed in shootout in Dhanbad
- CM Yogi’s cleanliness drive: UP cops clean up police stations
- Do not put unnecessary pressure on police: PM Modi tells UP BJP MPs
- Hukumdev Narain Yadav to be new Vice-President of India?
- 400 Trinamool Congress members including many TMC stalwarts join BJP in Tripura
- Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru were hanged on 23 March 1931 – This is how PM Modi paid tribute today
- Kapil Sharma fight on flight row: Did Sunil Grover, Ali Asgar and Chandan Prabhakar skip shoot?
- Mohammad Kaif welcomes Yogi Adityanath's appointment as new Uttar Pradesh chief minister