Ten men rescued from the water as tensions escalate in dispute over oil rig the South China Sea
Vietnamese fisherman claim that their boat was sunk in an attack by a Chinese vessel during a skirmish in a disputed area of the South China Sea.
The Vietnam coast guard have said that the boat was surrounded by 40 Chinese vessels before one rammed into it, knocking 10 men overboard and sinking the vessel.
But the official Chinese state media body Xinhua said that the Vietnamese boats were “engaging in harassment” and caused the collision.
All the men were rescued and no one was injured.
Tensions between the two countries have escalated since China positioned a controversial oil rig called Haiyang Shiyou 981 in an area claimed by Vietnam, Philippines and three other nations. The moved sparked deadly anti-Beijing protests in Ho Chin Minh City.
China says that Vietnam has “on many occasions dispatched various boats with the sole intention of harassing Chinese-linked companies drilling in that part of the ocean”, according to a report by BBC News.
Vietnam has sent dozens of patrol boats to confront the rig and China has responded by deploying a number of vessels to protect it.
Vietnam claims they have been attacked with water cannons and their boats have been rammed into, damaging the vessels and injuring some workers on board.
Read more news:
Russian Coast Guard holds Greenpeace activists at gunpoint