News / Asia

Fire-Gutted Vessel Highlights Vietnam - China Maritime Dispute

Pham Quang Thanh's fishing boat was allegedly attacked by Chinese vessels in the disputed South China Sea, Ly Son island, March 27, 2013.
Pham Quang Thanh's fishing boat was allegedly attacked by Chinese vessels in the disputed South China Sea, Ly Son island, March 27, 2013.
Marianne Brown
A long-running territorial dispute between Hanoi and Beijing has flared again after an incident this week in the South China Sea. A day after the Vietnamese government accused China of firing flares at a fishing boat near Chinese-controlled islands, Hanoi announced a plan to honor what it says are the islands’ original Vietnamese settlers.
 
On Wednesday, local newspapers continued to carry images of the burned-out cabin of a Vietnamese fishing boat which that Hanoi says was damaged by a Chinese navy vessel firing warning flares.
 
Authorities in Hanoi say the incident happened when the Vietnamese boat was returning from a fishing ground near the Paracel Islands. They say the flares fired by the Chinese made the boat catch fire.
 
At a news conference on Tuesday in Beijing, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, Hong Lei, denied the Vietnamese vessels were damaged, but said the action was "necessary and legitimate."
 
The incident occurred near the Paracel Islands, an archipelago roughly equidistant from Chinese and Vietnamese coastlines. The islands, known as Xisha in Chinese and Hoang Sa in Vietnam, have been under Chinese control ever since the two nations fought over them in 1974.
 
The islands have long been a source of contention between the two countries. In recent years, China has imposed a seasonal fishing ban around the archipelago, which Vietnam has ignored. Hanoi has accused China of detaining hundreds of fishermen near the area and impounding their boats.
 
A day after protesting the latest alleged attack on its fishermen, Hanoi announced an annual ceremony to commemorate what it says are the original Vietnamese settlers of the Paracels. The event will be held next month on Ly Son island, the home of many fishermen who cast their nets in the South China Sea.
 
The state-run Viet Nam News Agency said this is the first time the event is to be held at the provincial level, with activities including lectures, art performances and boat races.
 
Bui Thi Minh Hang, a well-known participant in anti-China protests, says Hanoi’s attention to the islands’ Vietnamese links marks a shift.
 
"Over the years, the Vietnamese government has avoided recalling conflicts with China and the struggles have been forgotten," she said. "In the past few years, police have arrested those who have taken to the streets to show their support for Vietnamese fishermen."
 
China is Vietnam’s biggest trading partner, and analysts say Vietnam has to strike a fine balance between diplomacy and anti-China sentiment at home.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Len Minetola from: New Jersey, USA
March 30, 2013 7:16 AM
I see some people think the USA should and would not get involved because of human rights violations in Vietnam. Is China any better in the treatment of their people? I agree that China should be stopped now and made to live with the International Law of The Sea before China owns the world. And why is the United States the authority on human rights?
What right does the United States have to put pressure on Viet Nam to push for human rights in that country? Let’s look at a little history in the United States before we condemn the way other governments are handling their internal affairs.
The United States Constitution was ratified in 1788, stating that all men were created equal. In 1789 George Washington was elected first president of the United States. It wasn’t until 76 years later, in 1865, that the 13th Amendment to that Constitution abolished slavery in the United States. That all men are created equal didn’t seem to apply to those held in slavery all those years. It didn’t really apply to women either because it took 131 years for women to get the right to vote.
Let’s not forget the McCarthy era in American history when Americans were so afraid of the spread of communism that being labeled a communist by McCarthy’s committee ruined lives of innocent people. We condemn Viet Nam on how they treat dissenters of their system of government.
As Late as 1965, there was still segregation in some schools in the south. That would be 177 years since the Constitution was ratified and 100 years after abolishing slavery.
Can we forget a place called Kent state in 1967, where 4 people were shot by the National Guard. Nine people were wounded and another paralyzed in that affair. In 1970 a Presidential Commission on campus unrest called the shootings unjustified. We shot students while they were exercising a right guaranteed them in our Constitution.
We still go through racial profiling, unequal pay for women, and many other things relating to the rights of our citizens and our country and it’s government is 223 years old. Viet Nam’s country is far older than ours but there government is only 36 years old and for much of that we held back their development because we lost a war there. So I repeat my question, what right do we have to pressure them about human rights.


by: HenryTran from: USA
March 29, 2013 2:36 AM
I agree more than 100% with the comments from Quayle and SEATO. Thanks.


by: quayle from: CA, USA
March 28, 2013 2:03 AM
These chinese are acting more and more like Nazi. They never want peace in the first place. They are nothing but barbarians and the huge and only threat to the civilization. They need to be removed from power by all means NOW or they will be claiming every square inch on the surface of this earth to themselves. This is no joke! It is happening now and it will continue to worsen until something or someone takes an appropriate and true measure to rid of these ongoing threats.


by: SEATO
March 27, 2013 5:17 PM
China's rise is comparable to that of the Third Reich in 1930s.They have to be restrained before they start WW3. We can not keep turning blind eyes to their aggressions,and let them take over other countries's territories and claim them to be undisputable parts of China.By just comdemning China is a waste of time because they wouldn't listen to reasons because they think they are too powerful and risky to mess about with.By terrorising and intimidating your neighbours into giving up their sovereign territories are despicable and deplorable acts.Would America and Russia just sit back and let China take over the Senkaku and South China Sea and think that would be the end of the problem? Don't forget,after Poland,Hitler went on to attack their Russian allies.The Chinese have been dreaming of World domination and they are now slowly working towards that goal.We can see that from the continued development and deployment of their navy and airforce.So wake up and face the reality!


by: Anonymous
March 27, 2013 4:18 PM
US has asked no gun fires in South China Sea to keep peace in the region. Now, China fired flairs at Viet fishing boats. Does US wait until China fires a DF21D missle at the sea before firmly reacting.?

In Response

by: Thuoc hay la thuoc dang from: Dallas, US
March 28, 2013 2:03 PM
Sorry pal! you are on your own since we can not support dictatorship countries who suppress freedom from their own people. Let me say it in different way, business relation is ok, but support and arm sell is No No No.

In Response

by: Sentinel
March 27, 2013 11:46 PM
US will be more willing to engage when Vietnam ends repeated and escalated human rights violations. Vietnam Communist corrupted regime wants to manipulate Vietnamese populace only for its own gain and consolidation of the status quo to protect its grip on power, ie, intermittently disperse and encourage anti-China demonstrations whenever it sees fit.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid