Vietnam has lodged an official protest with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing vessel in the disputed South China Sea, Vietnam said late on Thursday, ONA reports quoting Reuters.
Vietnam and China have for years long been embroiled in a dispute over the potentially energy-rich stretch of waters, called the East Sea by Vietnam.
The fishing vessel was moored near Da Loi island in the Paracel archipelago on March 6 when a China Maritime Surveillance Vessel chased it and fired water cannon at it, Vietnam’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The boat sank after hitting rocks while it was being chased. All five fishermen on board were rescued by another Vietnamese fishing boat, the ministry said.
A Vietnamese rescue agency said earlier that the Chinese vessel rammed the fishing boat.