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Vietnam, China trade accusations over sinking of Vietnamese fishing vessel

Published on May 27, 2014 9:59 AM
A Chinese boat rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing vessel not far from where China has stationed a massive oil rig (above) in disputed waters of the South China Sea, the head of Vietnam's coastguard said on Tuesday. -- FILE PHOTO: EPA

HANOI (AFP) - Vietnam said on Tuesday that a Chinese ship rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat in the South China Sea, while China claimed the Vietnamese vessel capsized after harassing and colliding with the Chinese boat, as tensions between the Asian neighbours simmered over the disputed waters. 

Tthe official Vietnam News Agency reported that the fishing vessel’s crew, who were rescued by other Vietnamese ships after the Monday afternoon incident, said their boat was encircled by 40 Chinese vessels before being rammed, 

“I confirm that the fishing vessel was rammed,” an official with the Vietnam Regional Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Centre in the central city of Danang told AFP. 

The sinking occurred about 12 nautical miles southwest of a Chinese rig, the official added, requesting anonymity. “The 10 fishermen on board are on land now. They are safe. The ship sank.”

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