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

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters 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.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs