|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Remarks on Vietnamese Ships Chasing away Chinese Fishing Boats in the Waters off the Nansha Islands|
Q: It is reported that the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson accused Chinese fishing boats of intentionally cutting the cables of a Vietnamese oil and gas exploration vessel in the South China Sea, severely violating the so-called sovereign and jurisdictional rights of Vietnam. What is China's comment?
A: The Vietnamese remarks do not tally with the fact. As is known to all, China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and the adjacent waters. Chinese fishing boats have been operating in the waters off Wan'an Bank for generations. While conducting normal operation in the above waters on the morning of June 9, the Chinese fishing boats were illegally chased away by armed Vietnamese ships. Amid the chase, the fishing net of one of the Chinese fishing boats tangled with the cables of a Vietnamese oil and gas exploration vessel which was operating illegally in the same waters. Regardless of the safety of the Chinese fishermen, the Vietnamese vessel dragged the Chinese fishing boat for more than one hour, with the latter's tail facing the front. The Chinese fishermen were forced to take the initiative to cut off the fishing net so as to seperate the two vessels. The behaviour of the Vietnamese vessel seriously endangered Chinese fishermen's lives. It needs to be pointed out that Vietnam grossly infringed China's sovereignty as well as maritime rights and interests by exploring oil and gas illegally in the Wan'an Bank waters and chasing away Chinese fishing boats. China urges Vietnam to stop all actions that violate China's sovereignty, endanger Chinese fishermen's life and property safety, and complicate and expand disputes. China hopes that the Vietnamese side makes due efforts to safeguard peace and stability of the South China Sea.