News

    China Urges Vietnam to Stop ‘Illegal Poaching’ Near Disputed Waters

    Vietnamese fishermen paddle their boat in Vung Tau, 125 kilometers (77 miles) south east of Vietnam's southern city of Ho Chi Minh (file photo)
    Vietnamese fishermen paddle their boat in Vung Tau, 125 kilometers (77 miles) south east of Vietnam's southern city of Ho Chi Minh (file photo)
    Marianne Brown

    A territorial dispute between Vietnam and China has escalated this week after Chinese forces arrested 21 fishermen. Vietnam says the fishermen detained near disputed waters in the South China Sea are being held for ransom. Beijing has urged its neighbor to stop what it calls “illegal poaching” in the area.

    Less than 24 hours after the Vietnamese government urged China to release 21 fishermen arrested near the disputed Paracel Islands, Beijing said the group is being held for territorial violations.

    At a news briefing in the Chinese capital, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hong Lei asked Hanoi to stop fishermen from entering the area again.

    Hong Lei said recently more than 100 Vietnamese ships had entered waters around the Paracel Islands, an area controlled by China but claimed by Vietnam.

    Hong Lei says on March 4, the fishermen were detained in the area. He says authorities acted in accordance with the law and urged Vietnam to better educate and manage fishermen so they would stop their illegal poaching in China.

    The comments came a day after Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement demanding the release of the fishermen. whom they claimed were being held for a ransom of $11,000.
    The Vietnamese government has advised families not to pay and are pressing Beijing for their release.

    The incident has put a lot of pressure on local people, says fisherman Le Van Loc from Quang Ngai province.  He was detained by the Chinese while he was sailing near the islands in 2010.

    Loc says, as a Vietnamese citizen, he is angry because the islands belong to Vietnam. He says families are told not to pay the ransom while the government demands the release of those detained. This had made life difficult for families.

    The incident is the latest in a long-running dispute about territory in the South China Sea. Last year, both sides signed a series of maritime agreements aimed at resolving tensions.  However, Vietnam has continued to protest Chinese activity on or near the islands.

    Earlier this month, Vietnam sent six Buddhist monks to re-establish abandoned temples on another series of islands claimed by both countries in the South China Sea.

    An editorial in China's official Global Times newspaper says on Wednesday the move to send monks there was a "religious guise" to "permanently claim sovereignty" over the islands.

    Vietnamese government spokesman Nghi denied the claims.

    He says the plan was a normal and civilian activity.

    Starting next month, the monks are to refurbish the temples and hold rituals there for at least six months. Vietnam abandoned the temples in 1975.  It recently renovated them as part of wider efforts to re-establish its claims to the Spratlys.

    The Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also claim portions of the more than 100-island chain. Beijing insists the entire 3.5 million-square-kilometer South China Sea is part of its territory. It has become increasingly assertive about its maritime claims in recent months, regularly interfering with foreign fishing boats and oil exploration vessels.

    Fisherman Loc says he will continue fishing near the Paracel islands in the future.  However,  while China is strengthening its patrols, he will stay away.

    He says he still sees many boats heading to the islands, because they are near Vietnam’s coastline.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: Swift
    April 17, 2012 12:31 AM
    French colonized Vietnam (1802-1945), Spratly Islands on behalf of its then-colony Vietnam, They built the weather station there. Then, French gave back Spartly and Paracels islands to South Vietnam . 1974, China military attacked South Vietnamese navy, invaded the islands , they killed and captured American adviser and small group south Vietnamese personnel working in Spartly islands.

    by: Jonathan Huang
    March 29, 2012 3:51 PM
    All great countries grew from blood and bones. China want to lead the world then cant avoid a glory war. Like US in the WWII.
    But..... it is not the time yet, everyone calm down and wait with patient. maybe 30 years may be 50 years.

    by: William
    March 29, 2012 10:42 AM
    It seems china is trying to claim most of asia and this kind of thinking is going to lead to a showdown in the near future, Don't trust the dragon cause it is really a snake.

    by: China wouldn't risk a large scale war!
    March 29, 2012 10:21 AM
    A Large scale war would be the end of China & the Chinese leadership is not stupid enough to risk it.China is bent on provoking & waging small scale war against its weaker neighbours & slowly swallowing up these disputed lands & seas without alarming the whole civilised world.The UN should have a say in this matter rather than let itself be manipulated by China

    by: michael qian
    March 29, 2012 7:52 AM
    The territory of mordern countyries are results of wars.It used to be,and will be.If distance is a problem,then hawaii shouldnot belong to USA.Since each country around south china sea believe they own the islands,let the war determine their destiny.

    by: eyedrd
    March 24, 2012 9:56 PM
    Why is the detention of Vietnamese fishermen by Chinese Navy considered an act of piracy?
    http://www.eyedrd.org/2012/03/why-is-the-detention-of-vietnamese-fishermen-by-chinese-navy-considered-an-act-of-piracy.html

    by: Observer
    March 23, 2012 5:31 PM
    China is on the way to become a powerful nation. Thus, she should behave in accordance with international laws in order to gain trust and allies amongst her neighbors, which will even make them stronger. Instead, she stole lands, and harassed neighbors for minor things like a petty thieve and a bully! China should return the islands to Vietnam.

    by: Southern Chinese are Vietnamese descendants
    March 23, 2012 11:49 AM
    Southern China used to belong to Nan Yue which was the ancient kingdom of the Vietnamese. The people of Canton,Yunnan & Guanxi are actually the descendants of the Vietnamese ( Baiyue: Hundred Viet Tribes). How could China claim the whole South China Sea based on some Han maps when the whole area used to belong to the Nan Yue people (Viet people of the South) who ruled over the entire area for many thousands of years?

    by: Charlie
    March 23, 2012 11:35 AM
    China invaded & seized the Paracel islands from South Vietnam by force in 1974 & that incident was condemned internationally.China's claim of most of the South China Sea including the Paracels based on some old,unknown & probably fabricated maps,is totally absurd,illogically & is clearly illegal.China should learn to respect international laws & stop murdering Vietnamese fishermen who go about doing their work in their own waters.The UN should enforce UNCLOS

    by: jose
    March 23, 2012 10:30 AM
    Hey you vietnam you no takey any mo a fishes dey is fo china only so you listen to us an put em backy in da watey.
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora