Vietnamese fishermen wrecked by Chinese attack

By Hien Cu, Thanh Nien News

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A Vietnamese fisherman sits on his boat which was damaged after a Chinese attack on August 14, 2014. Photo: Hien Cu A Vietnamese fisherman sits on his boat which was damaged after a Chinese attack on August 14, 2014. Photo: Hien Cu


A Vietnamese fisherman sailed back from a traditional fishing ground near Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands on Friday night, devastated as he said a Chinese vessel rammed and robbed his boat.
Tran Hien, 35, captain of the boat, told coast guards in Ly Son Island off the central province of Quang Ngai that he was attacked on Thursday afternoon when sailing in their traditional fishing ground near the Paracels.
Hien said people from the Chinese vessel smashed his cabin and cut some wires before taking away equipment including icoms, walkie talkies, fish detectors, bamboo coracles and around three tons of fish.
He said the material damage totaled around VND265 million (US$12,500).
Pham Thi Huong, vice chairwoman of Ly Son District off Quang Ngai Province, on Saturday afternoon said the authorities were looking into details and would report the case to higher authorities.
Pham Truong Tho, vice chairman of Quang Ngai, said last month as commenting on a Chinese attack at another local boat in the Paracels that China had illegally stopped, chased and damaged at least 27 fishing boats from the province so far this year.
Tho said 15 of the attacks took place after China deployed a US$1-billion oil rig into Vietnamese waters on May 2. The rig was removed in mid-July.
Fishing is the meal ticket for Quang Ngai locals, who operate 5,459 fishing boats. But all of them are wooden and vulnerable to attack, Tho said.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung early last month promised to fund VND4.5 trillion ($211.5 million) to help Vietnamese fishermen build stronger boats to survive the rising sea tension with China.

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