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

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll 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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs