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  • South China Sea dispute heats up again as Chinese ship rams Vietnamese boat

    South China Sea dispute heats up again as Chinese ship rams Vietnamese boat

    For the second time this year, a Chinese ship has rammed a Vietnamese fishing boat operating in the Paracel Islands, according to Vietnamese state media. The Friday incident appears to be a case of China enforcing a fishing ban that it unilaterally imposed on May 1.

    H/T: International Business Times

    Radio Free Asia reports that the Chinese ship seized one ton fish and various equipment from the boat before beating the Vietnamese captain after he refused to sign a document for them.

    The boat’s captain told Vietnamese authorities in central Quang Ngai province that a Chinese ship numbered 4006 chased and then rammed his boat, forcing all of its 16 crew to jump overboard.

    After the Chinese took some crew back to pump water out of their listing boat, the Chinese seized one ton of fish, a global positioning system, and other equipment worth in total 500 million Vietnamese dong ($21,000), Tuoi Tre reported.

    It said the Chinese crew kicked and beat the 42-year-old Vietnamese captain, identified as Nguyen Loc, when he refused to sign a document for them. They then departed.

    The Vietnamese managed to return to shore with help from other Vietnamese fishermen, the report said.

    China and several of its neighbours have been involved in a decades-long dispute over who controls the South China Sea. China claims most of the sea as its territory, but the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan say parts of the sea belong to them. Tensions have risen over the years and resulted in several confrontations as well as US involvement. The South China Morning Post looks at the origins of the dispute, what these countries are fighting over and what they’re doing to assert their territorial claims.

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