The Vietnamese government has introduced a new rule allowing coast guard forces to use weapons to chase away foreign vessels entering the country’s waters illegally.
The rule will take effect on October 20. Vietnamese coast guards can start using weapons to chase away foreign boats which encroach on Vietnamese waters and disregard orders by Vietnamese maritime security officers.
It said the chase can continue until the foreign boats are completely out of Vietnamese waters.
Vietnam has reported many Chinese boat attacks against local fishermen when they were fishing near the Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands.
The attacks have occurred more often since China deployed a US$1-billion oil rig illegally in Vietnamese waters in May last year. The rig was removed after two months.