Zero Hedge
May 27, 2014

As if global investors needed another excuse to buy stocks, China has escalated geopolitical tensions to 11 on the Spinal Tap amplifier of seriousness.

With over 70 vessels in and around the Paracel Islands – where China has provocatively placed an oil rig in disputed Vietnamese territorial waters – it was only a matter of time before the blue touch paper was lit. As Yahoo Japan reports, a Vietnamese fishing vessel has sunk after being rammed by a Chinese vessel and the 10 fishermen have been rescued. While Vietnam has not responded yet, theCoast Guard warned “the situation at the site it very tense.”
 

  • *CHINESE SHIP ATTACKS, SINKS VIETNAMESE FISHING BOAT, NEWS SAYS
  • *CHINESE SHIP ATTACKS, SINKS VIETNAM FISHNG BOAT, BINH SAYS
  • *LE HAI BINH, VIETNAM FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN, SAYS BY PHONE

 

“It sank,” ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said of the Vietnamese vessel. “It was rammed by a Chinese boat.”

Vietnam’s official response:

According to new information received, at 16 am on 26/5, the Chinese fishing boat collided number 11209 90 152 DNA sinking fishing boats of fishermen in South southwest of Da Nang, Hai Duong rig – rig by 981 and 17 nm , is a traditional fishing grounds, under the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam.

10/10 fishermen on board the ship Da Nang we picked and safe rescue.

At the time of the incident, there are 40 Chinese fishing boats surrounded unruly group of our vessels.

As Bloomberg reports,

Chinese vessel attacks, sinks Vietnamese fishing boat with 10 crew members yday, Vietnam News reports, without saying where it got the information.

Vietnamese crew rescued by other Vietnamese boats, newspaper says

Incident occurred about 4pm 17 nautical miles from China’s Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig, newspaper reports

Vietnamese ship DNa 90152 operating out of Danang encircled by 40 Chinese fishing vessels in waters Vietnam says is in its exclusive economic zone, newspaper says

Chinese vessel 11209 attacked Vietnamese boat, newspaper reports

Red line Mr Obama? Japan was quick to respond:

  • *SUGA: PROMISED TO COOPERATE WITH VIETNAM ON MARITIME SAFETY
  • *SUGA: PREPARING FOR MARITIME SAFETY COOPERATION WITH VIETNAM

Meanwhile, the two sides are also tossing verbal grenades…

Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry held a press conference on Friday when officials stressed the country’s historical claim to the Paracels.

“Historical and legal evidence shows that Vietnam has absolute sovereignty in the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos,” said Tran Duy Hai, deputy head of Vietnam’s National Border Committee.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang disagreed.

“Seeing that the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry held a press conference last Friday on the subject, I felt it was extremely ridiculous,” he said at a briefing on Monday. “The Paracels are the indisputable territory of the Chinese people.”


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