​Vietnamese fishermen say ambushed by Chinese vessels in East Vietnam Sea

​Vietnamese fishermen say ambushed by Chinese vessels in East Vietnam Sea

A Vietnamese fisherman recounts the attack by Chinese vessels near Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea on March 22, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Two Vietnamese fishing ships have reported to a local border guard unit that they were on Thursday ambushed by Chinese vessels and robbed off their fishing equipment while operating near the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea.

The unprovoked attack happened at around 10:00 am off the Da Loi (Discovery) Reef in Hoang Sa, according to the border defense unit of Quang Ngai Province in south-central Vietnam.

The Vietnamese ships, QNg 90045 and QNg 90440, were taking shelter from strong winds near the reef when they were approached by two white vessels flying Chinese flags.

The hostile vessels rammed into QNg 90440 captained by Dang Bi, damaging it badly.

Swiftly after the initial attack, eight Chinese men in military uniform armed with guns and batons boarded a rubber watercraft to approach the Vietnamese ships.

After forcing their way onto the ships, the Chinese attackers lured unarmed crew members to the bow started destroying several pieces of fishing equipment aboard.

They also took away some equipment and fish caught by the Vietnamese fishermen.

A Vietnamese fishing ship is badly damage after an ambush by Chinese vessels near Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea on March 22, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A Vietnamese fishing ship is badly damage after an ambush by Chinese vessels near Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea on March 22, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The victims managed to get ashore in Quang Ngai on Friday afternoon, and immediate filed a report about the attack to the local border guard unit.

The two Vietnamese ships collectively suffered VND750 million (US$33,000) in damages, according to assessment reports by Quang Ngai’s border guard officers.

Chinese attacks on Vietnamese vessels fishing legally in the East Vietnam Sea are not uncommon.

Last week, a vessel from Quang Ngai was also ambushed and had its fishing equipment destroyed by Chinese men while operating near the Tri Ton (Triton) Island in Hoang Sa.

Officers assess the damage on two Vietnamese fishing ships after they were attacked by Chinese vessels near Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea on March 22, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Officers assess the damage on two Vietnamese fishing ships after they were attacked by Chinese vessels near Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea on March 22, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
One of the Vietnamese ships ambushed near Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea on March 22, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
One of the Vietnamese ships ambushed near Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea on March 22, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A package with Chinese characters is thrown into a water tank on a Vietnamese ship by armed Chinese men during an ambush near Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea on March 22, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A package with Chinese characters is thrown into a water tank on a Vietnamese ship by armed Chinese men during an ambush near Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea on March 22, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A Vietnamese fisherman sits motionless on his ship as damage assess is carried out. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A Vietnamese fisherman sits motionless on his ship as damage assess is carried out. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Officers assess the damage on two Vietnamese fishing ships after they were attacked by Chinese vessels near Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea on March 22, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Officers assess the damage on two Vietnamese fishing ships after they were attacked by Chinese vessels near Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea on March 22, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Officers assess the damage on two Vietnamese fishing ships after they were attacked by Chinese vessels near Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea on March 22, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Officers assess the damage on two Vietnamese fishing ships after they were attacked by Chinese vessels near Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea on March 22, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Cables on a Vietnamese fishing ship are cut by armed Chinese men after an ambush near Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea on March 22, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Cables on a Vietnamese fishing ship are cut by armed Chinese men after an ambush near Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands in the East Vietnam Sea on March 22, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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