The Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute Jun 7, 2014 14:15:30 GMT
Post by Admin on Jun 7, 2014 14:15:30 GMT
Vietnam has released a video showing a Chinese vessel sinking a Vietnamese fishing boat last week in the South China Sea. The Chinese ship in the video, played on National Television (VTV) Thursday, first separates two smaller Vietnamese fishing boats and then hits one of them, causing it to capsize and sink near the site of a controversial oil rig that China has located in disputed waters.
Vietnam's state-owned TV channel calls the video “irrefutable evidence of China’s inhumane actions toward Vietnamese fishermen.” The captain of the lost fishing boat, Dang Van Nhan, told VOA's Vietnamese service last week that the Chinese vessels “came attacking us, trying to kill us.” Addressing the video Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei, said the Vietnamese boats were the aggressors.
“In the relevant seas, China’s ships were on the defensive and Vietnam’s ships were on the offence,” said Hong. "China’s ships were only about 17 nautical miles from China’s Zhongjian Island while Vietnam’s ships sailed a long way, almost 160 nautical miles, to reach the site. So which site initiated the clash at the site? Which side created tension at the site? This is very clear”. According to Vietnamese officials, Chinese ships have damaged 24 Vietnamese ships and injured 12 members of its fisheries surveillance force.
The deployment of China’s oil rig in May sparked anti-Chinese protests in Vietnam, claiming acts of war on China’s part and breaking international law. These protests led to riots on Sunday in which Vietnamese protesters caused damage to buildings deemed to be owned by China and injured 100 Chinese citizens. China responded by evacuating 290 citizens from Vietnam. Another 7,000 approximately are due to exit the country this week. The Foreign Ministry of China confirmed two deaths of Chinese citizens during the riots in Vietnam as of May 16.
Although these apparent acts of war caused by China and Vietnam’s dispute over the nine-dash-line and the UNCLOS Exclusive Economic Zone, China claims it is Vietnam breaking international law. “Vietnam is creating tension and violating international law,” stated during a daily briefing Tuesday by a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry. “Vietnam continues to conduct ramming activities.” These tensions are occurring alongside other territorial disputes between China and other Pacific Asian countries, including a dispute with Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.