China-Vietnam naval confrontation escalates

Row over the deployment of Chinese oil rig in the disputed South China Sea, leading to partial sinking of a Vietnamese ship.

By: Press Trust of India | Beijing | Published: June 3, 2014 6:59 pm
A Chinese ship, left, shoots water cannon at a Vietnamese vessel, right, trying to stop Beijing from setting up an oil rig in the South China sea. ( Source: AP ) A Chinese ship, left, shoots water cannon at a Vietnamese vessel, right, trying to stop Beijing from setting up an oil rig in the South China sea. ( Source: AP )

The China-Vietnam row over the deployment of Chinese oil rig in the disputed South China Sea escalated on Tuesday as their naval vessels had a confrontation, leading to partial sinking of a Vietnamese ship.

Ships of the two navies were locked in two separate confrontations near a controversial South China Sea oil rig on Sunday, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post quoted a China National Radio’s military channel as saying on Tuesday.

In the first incident, a Chinese coastguard ship using water canons blasted water at a Vietnamese fishing inspection vessel prompting it to flee, the radio report said.

Two other Chinese vessels blocked support units deployed by Vietnam’s coastguard to help the distressed ship.

After that a Vietnamese coastguard vessel collided with a Chinese ship sustaining heavy damage, the Post report said.

The Vietnamese ship suffered four leaks and was tilting, according to the China National Radio report.

Pictures in Weibo, akin to Twitter in China, showed the boat partially submerged in water.

Already one Vietnamese fishing boat sank few days ago in another confrontation with Chinese vessels. Its crew members, however, were rescued.

After a month-long confrontation leading to anti-China riots in Vietnam, China said last week that it was moving the rig to a new location as it completed first phase of drilling. The new location was not mentioned though.

Four Chinese were killed and over 100 injured in the anti-China riots in Vietnam leading to the destruction of over 400 factories, mostly Chinese.

China, which claims almost all of South China Sea belongs to it, has already evacuated over 7000 workers from Vietnam.

Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei besides Taiwan hotly contest Beijing’s claims.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Tuesday termed the Chinese naval vessels surrounding the Vietnamese ships as “nonsense”.

He accused Vietnam of interfering with drilling operations and “ramming against” the Chinese rig “on many occasions”.

China appealed to Vietnam to stop intruding into China’s sovereignty and jurisdiction, and immediately pull out the vessels and personnel.

“However, Vietnam has ignored our representations and continue with its disruptive actions and ramming into the oil rig,” he said.

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  1. L
    Jun 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm
    The Chinese are behaving exactly like Germany and an behaved before WW2, and for the same reasons, the belief that they are culturally and racially superior to every other group of humans on the planet. They have nothing but hatred and disdain for all the local countries, and are going about seizing territory and resources with wild abandon. This will end in a war, that may be our last, but definitely will see the end of China as a power, and possibly the same for the United States. In any case, millions will die needlessly over the inflated aspirations of the "Emperor Chinese."
    1. H
      hate chinese
      Jun 4, 2014 at 12:26 am
      China is good at making ugly babies...don't try to make war. Keep on making ugly human being s with tiny eyes and flat noses.
      1. Joe Joe
        Jun 4, 2014 at 2:36 am
        The Chinese truly believes that they can do whatever to their liking and no rules or regulations apply to them. China is trying to buy friendship with Malaysia, Laos and Cambodia. The Chinese-Russian relationship is purely based on the common hatred of the USA. China is still a big thorn to the Russians, but they'll take care of that issue afterward. India should also watch out for the Chinese.
        1. B
          Jun 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm
          The Chinese want to be the peace keepers of Asia but there stealing resources from Vietnam and the Philippines and causing all the conflicts that happen in the South East Asia Sea.
          1. P
            Jun 3, 2014 at 11:37 pm
            What this underscores is nuclear non-proliferation is not only a fantasy, it's making the world more dangerous. It's a fantasy because the entire history of weapons is: I build an arrow, you build a wall, I build a catapult, you build a better wall. So, thinking atomic weapons could be frozen in time is sheer folly. The way to make them obsolete is to develop a better and more precise weapon. It's dangerous because if the South East Asian nations surrounding China were nuclear armed, we'd not be seeing this kind of silly Chinese saber-rattling over worthless rocks that's designed to distract from domestic problems.
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