Protecting fishermen becomes sovereignty issue with China
  • By Le Chan Nhan | dtinews.vn | January 08, 2014 05:46 PM

Vietnam may have to come up with policies to prevent Chinese patrol boats from attacking Vietnamese fishermen around Hoang Sa Islands.


One of fishermen on the boat attacked by the Chinese patrol ship on January 3

The issue was made clear by a recent incident in which a Vietnamese fishing boat was attacked by a Chinese patrol ship on the East Sea.

The captain of the ship, Pham Quang Thach, said, "The Chinese ship, was very big and well-manned. They then took over our ship with 18-20 Chinese sailors jumped into our ship, intimidating us with weapons and threats. and destroying our equipment. They also took five tonnes of salmon and tuna, which cost approximately VND200 million (USD9,520). They caused a total loss of VND300 million (USD14,280), including many assets on the boat."

The twelve Vietnamese fishermen have had to take out loans to maintain operations. They expect large enough profits to have enough to survive through Tet, but feelings obviously run lower when boats are actually destroyed. 

Chinese patrol ships that are now a frequent threat on the East Sea, including areas which are not within their sovereign space. So far China does not seem to have been held accountable among the international community. Some sailors are even being held for ransom. 

Though Vietnam has made repeated requests for China to respect national  sovereignty, those requests have been ignored. The Vietnam Fishermen’s Association has also lodged several complaints on this issue to no avail.

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