Sunday, June 8, 2014

Vietnam Says Video Shows Chinese Ship Intentionally Sinking Boat

Vietnam has released a video that it says shows a Chinese fishing boat intentionally ramming into a smaller Vietnamese fishing boat, causing it to sink.
The May 26 incident was a dramatic escalation in the conflict between Vietnam and China over the placement of a Chinese offshore oil rig in waters claimed by both countries in the South China Sea.
The two sides had offered distinctly differing accounts of the sinking, with Vietnam saying that the Chinese vessels intentionally slammed into the Vietnamese boat.

“The attack is an intentional act that was aimed at killing Vietnamese fishermen,” Nguyen Van Sy, an official with a ship repair cooperative in Danang where the sunken boat was taken, toldVietnam’s state-run Tuoi Tre news.
Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, said the Vietnamese boat “capsized when it was interfering with and ramming a fishing vessel.”
On Thursday, a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Hong Lei, reiterated China’s stance that it had been the victim of Vietnamese efforts to interfere with the drilling platform. Since May 27, when the rig was repositioned about four miles northeast of its original location, “the Vietnamese side has altogether rammed into Chinese government vessels for safeguarding security on the scene for over 1,200 times, and has set up large floating objects and obstacles,” Mr. Hong said, according to an official transcript of his regularly scheduled news conference.
When asked whether the video Vietnam released earlier in the day showed China as the aggressor, Mr. Hong replied: “Chinese vessels are defending, and the Vietnamese vessels are attacking.”
The $1 billion rig, Haiyang Shiyou 981, is owned by China National Offshore Oil Corporation, or Cnooc. On May 1, China placed it about 17 miles away from one of the Paracel Islands, which are controlled by China but also claimed by Vietnam, and 120 miles off the Vietnamese coast in waters Vietnam says are within its exclusive economic zone.
Following the May 26 collision, 10 Vietnamese sailors were rescued from the sinking fishing boat, according to Vietnamese state media reports.