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Vietnamese fishermen detained in Chinese port after sea arrest
Publication Date : 11-07-2014
Six Vietnamese fishermen and their equipment have been detained at the port of Sanya in China's Hainan Province.
The Vietnamese mission in China has been working closely with Chinese authorities on the case, according to reports.
Le Hai Binh, a spokesperson from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, made the announcement yesterday at a regular press conference.
The six fishermen were arrested by Chinese patrol ships on July 3. The Chinese said the fishermen were operating in Chinese waters, but Binh said both sides were still working to identify the exact location at the time of arrest.
Binh said officials from the Vietnamese consular mission in Guangzhou and the Vietnamese Embassy in China had visited the Vietnamese fishermen yesterday morning and said they were in a stable condition.
Binh also said Vietnam was still considering possible legal action against China,more than two months after it placed an oil rig within Vietnamese waters on May 2.
Also, another Chinese surveillance aircraft was spotted yesterday flying above Vietnamese law enforcement ships operating in Vietnamese waters in the East Sea.
The site was close to where the Chinese drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 is illegally standing, reported the Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance Department.
At 11.45, 12.40 and 13.05, the plane, coded CMS-B3808, circled above the Vietnamese ships at a height of 200-300m before leaving, it said.
At the same time, more than 100 Chinese, including five battleships, continued surrounding the drilling rig, which was set up in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in early May.
The Chinese ships continued to form lines around the rig, aggressively preventing Vietnamese ships from approaching the rig to demand China remove it.
Despite harassment, Vietnam's coast guard and fisheries surveillance ships operated in the area about 10-11 nautical miles from the rig.