Chinese ship accused of attacking Vietnamese fishing boats off central coast

By Hoang Trong, Thanh Nien News

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A Vietnamese fishing boat is damaged after an attack by a Chinese ship on July 21, 2015. Photo: Hoang Trong A Vietnamese fishing boat is damaged after an attack by a Chinese ship on July 21, 2015. Photo: Hoang Trong

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Fisherfolk in Binh Dinh Province have said their boats were attacked by a Chinese ship while they were fishing in Vietnamese waters this week.
Nguyen Nhat Ngoc, a 53-year-old captain, told local coast guards on Friday that his boat with three people aboard was at more than 15 nautical miles from the Spratly Islands on Tuesday when an armored Chinese ship chased after them.
The Chinese vessel hit his boat three times from both sides, breaking all the lights and the chimney.
Ngoc said the Chinese ship then chased after his boat for more than 30 minutes.
Bui Thanh Ninh, another local fisherman, said his boat with 13 crew members suffered a similar attack also in the area on Thursday morning, by the same Chinese ship with code number 994.
Fishing boats from coastal provinces in central Vietnam have reported more attacks by Chinese vessels after China illegally deployed a US$1-billion oil rig into Vietnamese waters in May last year.
The rig was removed after two months.
Vietnam's government has promised to set aside a fund of VND4.5 trillion ($211.5 million) to help locals build better fishing boats to protect themselves from such attacks.

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