China says Vietnamese fishing boat rammed coastguard ship before sinking

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[Reading level: B2 – Upper Intermediate]

China has accused a Vietnamese fishing vessel of ramming a coastguard ship in disputed waters in the South China Sea.

 

The incident, which happened around midnight on Thursday, has fuelled tensions between the two sides with Vietnam blaming China for the incident and lodging an official protest.

 

The Chinese coastguard said in an online statement late on Friday that the Vietnamese fishing vessel QNG90617 had been fishing illegally in waters near the Paracel Islands and had refused to leave after repeated warnings.

 

“It rammed into our coastguard ship 4301 and sunk, all eight of the crew have been rescued,” the coastguard spokesman Zhang Jun said.

 

He added that the crew had confessed to illegally entering Chinese waters and dangerous manoeuvres.

 

The sailors have been handed over to the Vietnamese authorities.

 

“We have urged Vietnam to take measures to avoid similar incidents from happening in light of the increasingly frequent illegal fishing activities in Xisha waters,” Zhang said, using the Chinese name for the Paracel Islands.

 

But Vietnam rejected Beijing’s account. Its foreign ministry said on Saturday that the Vietnamese fishing vessel had been rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel.

 

“The Chinese vessel committed an act that violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa archipelago and threatened the lives and damaged the property and legitimate interests of Vietnamese fishermen,” the foreign ministry said in its statement, referring to the Paracel Islands by its Vietnamese name.

 

The ministry said it had lodged a protest against Beijing, and the Vietnam Fisheries Society said all the fishermen were picked up by the Chinese vessel and transferred to two other Vietnamese fishing vessels operating nearby.

 

Vietnam and China have for years been embroiled in a dispute over the potentially energy-rich waters, called the East Sea by Vietnam.

 

The incident marks the second time in less than a year a Vietnamese fishing vessel has been reportedly sunk near the Chinese-controlled Paracels.

 

A Chinese oil survey vessel conducted operations in Vietnamese-controlled waters for more than three months last year, prompting a stand-off with Vietnamese ships.

 

Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea as its territory and has built artificial islands with military capable facilities over reefs and outcrops in the area, which are also claimed in part by Vietnam.

 

The South China Sea Probing Initiative, a thinktank affiliated with Peking University, said 569 Vietnamese vessels had engaged in illegal activities in the disputed waters in March, a marked increase from 311 in February.

 

China and its Southeast Asian neighbours often run into fishing disputes.

 

Tensions between China and Indonesia are also simmering following a series of incidents over fishing activities in the North Natuna Sea.

 

Indonesian officials down played the incidents, but critics said China was acting more aggressively and had violated Indonesia’s sovereign rights.

 

Source: https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3078452/china-says-vietnamese-fishing-boat-rammed-coastguard-ship

WORD BANK:

accuse sb of something/doing something /əˈkjuːz/ [B2] (v): cáo buộc, đổ lỗi cho ai về việc gì

ram /ræm/ (v): đâm

disputed /dɪˈspjuː.tɪd/ (adj): bị tranh chấp

fuel /ˈfjuː.əl/ (v): làm tăng thêm, thúc đẩy

tension /ˈten.ʃən/ [B2] (n): căng thẳng

lodge /lɒdʒ/ (v): đưa ra (lời phàn nàn, phản đối)

protest /ˈprəʊ.test/ (n): sự phản đối

Paracel Islands (n): quần đảo Hoàng Sa (Việt Nam)

confess /kənˈfes/ [B2] (v): thừa nhận

manoeuvre /məˈnuː.vər/ (v, n): duy chuyển

hand over /hænd/ [B2] (v): bàn giao

urge sb to do sth /ɜːdʒ/ [C2] (v): thúc giục ai làm gì

in light of sth [C1] (pre): trong bối cảnh

account /əˈkaʊnt/ (n): cáo buộc

sovereignty /ˈsɒv.rɪn.ti/ (n): chủ quyền

archipelago /ˌɑː.kɪˈpel.ə.ɡəʊ/ (n): quần đảo

legitimate /ləˈdʒɪt.ə.mət/ [C2] (adj): hợp pháp

interest /ˈɪn.trəst/ [C1] (n): lợi ích

fishery /ˈfɪʃ.ər.i/ (n): nghề cá

be embroiled in sth /ɪmˈbrɔɪld/ (expression): bị lôi kéo vào chuyện gì

conduct /kənˈdʌkt/ [C2] (v): tiến hành

stand-off  /ˈstænd.ɒf/ (n): sự cản trở

territory /ˈter.ɪ.tər.i/ [B2] (n): lãnh thổ

artificial /ˌɑː.tɪˈfɪʃ.əl/ [B2] (adj): nhân tạo

reef /riːf/ (n): rạn san hô

outcrop /ˈaʊt.krɒp/ (n): bãi đá

thinktank /ˈθɪŋk ˌtæŋk/ (n): nhóm chuyên gia cố vấn

affiliated with sth /əˈfɪl.i.eɪ.tɪd/ (adj): liên kết với

simmering /ˈsɪm·ər·ɪŋ/ (adj): sôi sục

down play sth (v): che đậy, giấu nhẹm, làm giảm tầm nghiêm trọng (thông tin)


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