• Wed
  • Dec 24, 2014
  • Updated: 4:31pm

Ships collide as Vietnam tries to stop China oil rig deployment in disputed waters

Beijing hits out after Philippines seizes fishing vessel and collision with Vietnamese boats

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 May, 2014, 4:42pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 May, 2014, 6:05pm

Tensions in the South China Sea flared up yesterday as China exchanged harsh rhetoric with the Philippines and Vietnam after confrontations in the waters.

Hanoi said its vessels collided with Chinese ships near waters off the Paracel Islands, where a Chinese oil company is establishing a rig. And in the Spratly Islands, a Chinese fishing boat was apprehended by Philippine maritime police.

The three countries have had increasingly tense disputes over areas of the South China Sea. The Chinese foreign ministry rebuked both nations for disturbing the "normal operations" of vessels in Chinese waters.

Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said the movements in the Paracel Islands were "within China's sovereignty and not related to Vietnam".

Hanoi said the drilling was illegal and sent patrol vessels to the area, resulting in at least three collisions with Chinese boats since Beijing said it was drilling on Saturday.

The deputy commander of Vietnam's maritime police, Ngo Ngoc Thu, said the Chinese "actively used water cannon to attack Vietnamese law enforcement vessels".

"Some Vietnamese people were injured by broken glass as a result of the clash," he said.

In the other flashpoint, Beijing sent a maritime police vessel to the Half Moon Shoal in the Spratly Islands, where the Chinese fishing boat was seized by Philippine maritime police, and made representation to Manila.

The vessel with 11 crew was seized on Tuesday along with 350 marine turtles. Charges of catching endangered green sea turtles would be laid, the Philippine government said, calling it a move to "uphold sovereign rights".

Hua hit back, saying: "We demand the Philippines give a reasonable explanation, and immediately release the vessel and the crew members on board."

Chinese fishermen said several armed men forced themselves onto two fishing vessels, one of which escaped.

"Up to 10 warning shots were fired," said a crew member.

Observers said the incidents indicated there would be more confrontations, though military clashes were unlikely. "The suspicions among these nations are widening," said Zhang Mingliang , an expert in regional affairs at Jinan University.

Du Jifeng, of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said: "New conflicts will emerge when old ones are not resolved."

Additional reporting by Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Reuters


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This article is now closed to comments

China, always China...is there any country that likes China?
M Miyagi
The US pivots to Asia and the troublemakers like Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines are causing all kinds of troubles. Thanks Mr Obama for causing so much troubles.
Go China! put them in their place, they picked the wrong side; I would like to see how they deal with China once the US is bankrupt, collapsed and retreated into isolationism....
It never ceases to amuse to hear the land thieves from the Middle Kingdom vent their spleens when any other nation has the temerity to assert its claims to its territory. Their arrogance is amazing.
How About
Look what $18M Coast guard upgrades, a few geo-sensing satellite bromides and another $50M fun-money can buy in Vietnam...
Chuck (Hagel) - go dispatch forthwith USS Bush, USS Kitty Hawke, 3 Astute-class submarines and the entire armada from Okinawa. And while you are at it- set up a naval blockade and embargo China......
And John (Kerry) - send in Reuters, AFP, AP first to start the war drums...
"An army of sheep, led by a lion, is better than an army of lions, led by a sheep."
China or Russia have nothing to worry about because the US is being led by President Obama.
False dichotomy! There are many preferable leadership options (that much better describe the true situation) than your 2 options permit. Your comment fails, therefore, to contribute any meaningful insight to the situation you are commenting upon.
china's a big country. but not all things in the world belong to china. i think you must know the true. china always attack vietnam. we're only a small country, but we dont tell a lie. dont use baidu to prove your history, history is not the thing which you know in the books, which is writed by chinese goverment. dont make the world hate chinese because your greed. we only protect our country, not attack and kill others that you did.
The "peaceful rise" begins in earnest...
What about illegal poaching of the turtles by the Chinese fishermen? Or should they be called Ninja Turtle Hunters?



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