A fleet of 30 fishing vessels from China's island province of Hainan Sunday reached fishing grounds in the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands belonging to Vietnam.
China's official Xinhua news agency reported that the vessels arrived at Fiery Cross Reef (called Yongshu Reef by China) in the East Sea at about 5 p.m. after a 78-hour voyage.
The fleet, including a 3,000-ton supply ship and 29 other vessels, would spend the next five to 10 days fishing there, Xinhua quoted some of the fishermen as saying.
It said China Yuzheng 310, a patrol ship, has also arrived at the spot to protect the fleet.
Chinese fishermen's activities around Truong Sa are illegal and violate Vietnam's sovereignty over this archipelago, Vietnam News Agency cited a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry's National Border Committee as saying July 13.
Vietnam's stance on the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa archipelagos has been affirmed many times, according to the committee.
"Vietnam requires China to educate and guide its fishermen to respect Vietnam's sovereignty and territory and comply with international law," it said.