Channel NewsAsia

China, Vietnam trade accusations over boat capsize

10 fishermen were rescued on Monday after a Chinese boat allegedly attacked and sank a Vietnamese fishing vessel in disputed waters in the South China Sea. But China's Xinhua news agency reported that the Vietnamese vessel had "jostled" with the Chinese ship and overturned.

HANOI: 10 fishermen were rescued on Monday after a Chinese boat reportedly attacked and sank a Vietnamese fishing vessel in disputed waters.

Bloomberg News said on Tuesday the incident took place off a Chinese oil rig located near the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, citing Vietnam News.

"A Vietnamese boat from the central city of Da Nang was deliberately encircled by 40 fishing vessels from China before it was attacked by a Chinese ship," Vietnamese coastguard commander Nguyen Quang Dam told Reuters.

However, China's official Xinhua news agency gave a conflicting account of the incident.

"Crew aboard the boat were saved after their ship jostled a fishing boat from Dongfang City in southern China's Hainan province and overturned in the waters," said Xinhua, citing a government source.

China’s placement of the oil rig sparked deadly protests in Vietnam earlier in May. Beijing evacuated thousands of nationals following the violence.

Also, dozens of Chinese and Vietnamese vessels, including many civilian and fishing boats, have engaged in repeated skirmishes near the giant oil rig, including reported rammings and the use of water cannon.

Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea, parts of which are also claimed by the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan.

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