Vietnam fishermen say attacked by China surveillance force

By Hien Cu, Thanh Nien News

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Two fishermen who claimed to be attacked by Chinese fisheries surveillance patrolmen being treated at Quang Ngai General Hospital on May 18 / PHOTO: HIEN CU
Chinese fisheries patrolmen operating outside their jurisdiction allegedly assaulted two Vietnamese fishermen and stole their catch, according to the victims, who were rushed to hospital as soon as they docked in the central province of Quang Ngai on Sunday.
The attack occurred three days earlier, near Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, where China has illegally positioned a US$1-billion oil rig in Vietnam's continental shelf and exclusive economic zone and dispatched a fleet of more than 134 vessels and aircraft to protect it.
Captain Nguyen Tan Hai, 24, one of the two victims, told Thanh Nien that a Chinese ship approached them at night, while he and Nguyen Hien Le Anh, 20, awaited the return of 12 crew members who had taken a motorboat towads Phu Lam Island to fish.
Hai said he started his boat to avoid the foreign ship, but the latter managed to catch up to them about 30 minutes later.
A mob of Chinese officers boarded their boat and beat Hai and Anh unconscious with clubs, he said.
Hai says the Chinese stole the crew's catch, estimated at some VND300 million ($14,000), as well their communication and fishing equipment.
When Hai regained consciousness some time later, he says he had to wait for the Chinese ship to leave the area before piloting his boat back to the island to pick up his crew.

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