Six Vietnamese fishermen held by Chinese patrol ships

Chinese patrol ships arrested six Vietnamese fishermen in waters off China’s Hainan Island, officials said on Friday, an incident likely to heighten tensions between the nations as they spar over a territorial dispute. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the arrests occurred on Thursday 12 kilometers off the island, a location that would place the fisherman within China’s territorial waters.

However, Nguyen Ky, an official in the district where the fishermen came from, said the arrests took place in disputed waters near the Gulf of Tonkin, which lies off Hainan. He said his information came from fishermen in a second boat that was briefly detained and reported the incident via radio. Lei said Chinese authorities were handling the situation ‘according to the law’ and urged Vietnam to ‘strengthen control over their fishermen .... and prevent similar incidents from happening again.’
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