Vietnam on Thursday denounced recent attacks against Vietnamese fishermen in their traditional fishing water.
Le Hai Binh, spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Vietnamese authorities are investigating details of alleged Chinese assaults targeting fishermen in Hoang Sa (Paracels) water.
“We strongly condemned any brutal acts taken against the Vietnamese fishermen and boats operating legally on Vietnamese waters,” Binh said.
At least two crews returned to Ly Son island off Quang Ngai Province last weekend reporting being beaten and robbed by Chinese boats near the archipelago.
One boat was reportedly attacked last Friday by 17 people from a Chinese boat armed with axes and batons and the other on Thursday afternoon.
The captains estimated material damage of VND600 million (US$28,320) and VND265 million ($12,500) as all their equipment was damaged and their catches robbed.
Quang Ngai authorities said Chinese forces have chased and attacked round 30 fishing boats from the province so far this year, with more incidents taking place after China deployed a US$1-billion oil rig into Vietnamese waters on May 2. The rig was removed in mid-July.
Fishing at sea is the meal ticket for Quang Ngai locals, who operate 5,460 wooden fishing boats.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung early last month promised to fund VND4.5 trillion ($211.5 million) to help Vietnamese fishermen build better boats.
Upon reports that China is conducting live fire drills in the Gulf of Tokin, spokesman said the drills will be held over the Chinese water off Leizhou peninsula.
“We hope China will behave in a way that contributes to peace, stability and security of the region as well as the world,” Binh said.