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Vietnam says China rammed and fired water cannon at ships in disputed waters

Published on May 7, 2014 6:05 PM
 
Vietnam Maritime Police's Deputy Commander Do Ngoc Thu speaks during a press conference on the latest maritime tension between Vietnam and China in Hanoi on May 7, 2014. Hanoi said that Chinese ships protecting a deep-water drilling rig in disputed waters in the South China Sea had used water cannon to attack Vietnamese patrol vessels and repeatedly rammed them, injuring six people. -- PHOTO: AFP

HANOI (AFP) - Hanoi said on Wednesday that Chinese ships protecting a deep-water drilling rig in disputed waters in the South China Sea had used water cannon to attack Vietnamese patrol vessels and repeatedly rammed them, injuring six people.

Tensions between the communist neighbours have risen sharply since Beijing unilaterally announced last week that it would move the deep-water drilling rig into disputed waters - a move the United States has described as "provocative".

Vietnam deployed patrol vessels after the China Maritime Safety Administration issued the unilateral navigational warning on its website, saying it would be drilling in the South China Sea close to the Paracel Islands - which are controlled by China but claimed by Vietnam. Vietnam said China's decision was "illegal", demanded the rig be withdrawn, and dispatched vessels to the area.

Meantime, Singapore also expressed concern on Wednesday over reports of several incidents in the South China Sea, in particular the collisions between Vietnamese and Chinese vessels.

 
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