A video clip recorded by Vietnamese fishermen in the East Sea (South China Sea) shows a Vietnamese wooden-hull fishing boat being chased by a Chinese steel ship, which later rammed into and sunk the Vietnamese boat.
The attack, described by Hanoi's foreign ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh as an "inhuman action," took place on May 26, 2014 in waters of the South China Sea well within Vietnam's exclusive economic zone.
Fortunately, all 10 fishermen on board the sunk boat were rescued.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang denied the attack and claimed that the fishing boat had capsized after ramming a Chinese boat.
Dang Van Nhan, captain of the ill-fated boat, said Qin Gang's comment is "irrational."
"The Chinese boat was 6 times as big as ours. It has steel hull, while our boat is made of wood. Why would we want to ram into it?"
The boat sunk in waters not far from where China has placed an oil rig since the beginning of May, just 150 nautical miles off Vietnam's coast.
Vietnam has said the Haiyang Shiyou 981 rig is in its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and on its continental shelf.