Beijing hits out after Philippines seizes fishing vessel and collision with Vietnamese boats
Just Added from the diplomat.com – A low-quality version of that video has been posted on Youtube. It appears to have been taped by one of the media outlets that attended the press conference. English language subtitles of Thu’s remarks also appear on the video:
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 May, 2014, 4:42pm
Teddy Ng in Beijing and Agencies in Hanoi and Manila
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
- Vietnam tries to stop China oil rig deployment (sfgate.com)
- Vietnam and China face off in South China Sea (scooprocket.com)
- VIDEO: Ships from Vietnam and China ‘collide’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Vietnam Accuses China of Ramming Ships in Dispute Over Oil Rig (nbcnews.com)
- Philippines seizes Chinese boat (bbc.co.uk)
- Vietnam protests Chinese oil rig in disputed sea (bostonherald.com)
- Vietnam tries to stop China oil rig deployment (miamiherald.com)
- Vietnam Releases Video of China Ramming Ships (thediplomat.com)
Categories: Escalation / Destabilization Conflict