[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

South China Sea tensions rise after collision

China has yet to respond to allegations that its ships have rammed into Vietnamese vessels as an act of intimidation.

Last updated: 08 May 2014 00:50
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Territorial disputes between Hanoi and Beijing have led to public anger [File photo: Reuters]

Vietnam has accused China of attacking its ships in the South China Sea, waters that have become a source of friction between the regional giant and its neighbours. 

The Foreign Ministry in Hanoi said on Wednesday that the collisions caused considerable damage to the Vietnamese ships, Reuters news agency reported.

"On May 4, Chinese ships intentionally rammed two Vietnamese Sea Guard vessels," said Tran Duy Hai, a Foreign Ministry official.

"Chinese ships, with air support, sought to intimidate Vietnamese vessels. Water cannon was used," he told a news conference in Hanoi. Six people suffered minor injuries as a result of the incident. 

China has yet to respond to the allegations. The state-run oil company, CNOOC, is operating a drilling rig in waters claimed by Hanoi.

Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the US State Department, said on Wednesday: "Given the recent history of tensions in the South China Sea, China’s unilateral decision to introduce its oil rig into these disputed waters is provocative and unhelpful to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region.

"We are strongly concerned about dangerous conduct and intimidation by vessels in the disputed area."

Hanoi's complaint follows an incident between China and the Philippines, after the Philippine government seized a Chinese fishing boat and crew on charges of catching endangered sea turtles in disputed South China Sea waters, prompting China to demand their release.

221

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.