June 14, 2020 – Việt Nam has asked China to investigate the incident where Chinese vessels seriously disrupted a Vietnamese fishing boat in Hoàng Sa (Paracel) archipelago’s waters on June 10.
Relevant agencies said Việt Nam’s fishing boat QNg 96416 TS was moving about seven nautical miles to the south of Lincoln Island when a steel vessel plated 4006 (allegedly operated by the Chinese Coast Guard) and a motorboat approached, causing big waves that caused16 fishermen and many objects fall into the sea, and water to enter the boat.
It was reported that some people on the Chinese vessels got on to the Vietnamese boat to pump water out and brought the Vietnamese fishermen back to the boat.
Before departing, the Chinese forced the captain of the Vietnamese boat to fingerprint sign some documents in foreign languages and took away a large volume of seafood, fishing tools and equipment.
Immediately on June 10, the Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Vietnam Embassy in Beijing contacted the Chinese authorities and affirmed Việt Nam’s sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa archipelago. The agencies also requested the Chinese side to investigate the incident and inform the investigation’s results to authorzsed Vietnamese agencies for coordinating to address the incident.
On June 12, all fishermen on board safely landed in Sa Kỳ, the central province of Quảng Ngãi. The fishermen are now under quarantine in the province’s Bình Sơn medical center in accordance with COVID-19 prevention regulations.
Vietnamese agencies are working to collect and verify information and will continue to contact the Chinese side to protect the national sovereignty and Vietnamese fishermen’s legitimate rights and interests.
In a protest letter issued on Saturday by the Việt Nam Fisheries Society, the damage caused to the fishermen was estimated at VNĐ500 million (approx. US$21,500).
The fisheries society condemned the “inhumane act” that threatened the lives and livelihood of Vietnamese fishermen as they fish in Việt Nam’s rightful waters.
The organization asked the Vietnamese authorities to voice its protests with China, asking them to stop all attacks against Vietnamese fishermen and demand compensation.
They have also asked to increase patrols to provide support and protection for Vietnamese fishermen.