China Drives Out Vietnamese Boats From Disputed South China Sea

From Hindustan Times

By Sutirtho Patranobis

Two Vietnamese fishing boats were driven out by Chinese patrol ships from near disputed islands on the South China Sea on Wednesday.

The Vietnam-registered vessels were spotted near the Xisha islands – Hanoi calls the same islands Paracel — on Wednesday morning, state media reported, adding that a group of China Marine Surveillance (CMS) ships were patrolling the same area.

“They were suspected of illegal fishing within China’s territorial waters, according to the Xinhua reporter on board the CMS ship,” the Xinhua report said.

They were driven out of the waters at about 10am by two CMS ships — the Haijian 262 and the Haijian 263.

“The CMS fleet, composed of three ships, with the other being the Haijian 83, and a Haijian B-7103 helicopter. The fleet is conducting regular patrols of the Xisha Islands, which are now administered by Sansha City, which was set up in July last year,” the report said.

The incident comes a day after an official said China will send a team at an “appropriate time” to survey the Diaoyu Islands; China is also locked in a diplomatic tussle with Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea, which Tokyo calls Senkaku islands.

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