Chinese coast guard vessel on Thursday illegally seized a Vietnamese boat fishing near the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, taking the crew of six to China, authorities said.
Officials of Pho Thanh Commune, Quang Ngai Province, said the six fishermen included captain Vo Van Teo, 22, and five crew members ranging from 20 to 45 years of age. They were arrested in their traditional fishing ground, they said.
The Hoang Sa (Paracels) fall under the administrative control of Quang Ngai Province.
Tensions with China have grown increasingly tense in waters near the Paracel Islands after China in May installed an oil rig and sent military, coast guard and armored fishing boats to protect it.
Tuoi Tre newspaper cited Phan Hien, head of the Pho Thanh Fishing Association, as saying Friday that the six men were fishing in waters shared with China in the Tonkin Gulf.
Their boat was sailing along another vessel, both of which are owned by Teo’s father Vo Dat, but the Chinese officers reportedly waved the other boat back to shore .
Many Vietnamese boats were also fishing nearby, one of which informed the authorities.
Fishing tools on the seized boat plus the boat itself is worth around VND1.1 billion (US$51.600).