Vietnam Accuses China Of Deliberately Sinking Fishing Boat

The boat sank near the state-run oil rig China recently deployed to the contested waters in the South China Sea.
Posted at 11:59 AM, May 27, 2014

Tensions have flared again between China and Vietnam with Vietnam accusing China of sinking one of its ships. But as always, there are two very different versions of what happened.  

The boat sank not far from China's controversial new oil rig near the Paracel Islands. It's an area of the South China Sea both China and Vietnam claim as their own. (Via Google)

Vietnam's foreign ministry told the media some 40 Chinese steel vessels surrounded a wooden Vietnamese boat. A Chinese vessel, it said, deliberately rammed into the Vietnamese boat. (Via Euronews)

Chinese media paints a different picture. State-run outlet Xinhua reports the Vietnamese boat capsized after "harassing and colliding with a Chinese fishing boat."

Regardless of what really happened, you can be sure it's only going to escalate tensions between the two countries.

China's recent deployment of an oil rig in the contested Paracel Islands triggered violent riots in Vietnam, leading China to evacuate some 3,000 workers a few weeks ago. (Via YouTube / Inra Jakha

Chinese and Vietnamese vessels have been in a standoff for weeks, but this is the first actual sinking of a ship. (Via Arirang

This video from May 1 shows what appears to be a collision between a Chinese coast guard vessel and a Vietnamese ship. Both Beijing and Hanoi accused the other of purposely ramming into each other's vessels. (Via BBC

China's dispute with Vietnam is one of several territorial spats with its neighbors. Japan, the Philippines and Malaysia also lay claim to parts of the resource-rich South China Seas that China says are its own. (Via Stratfor

China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea using a map drawn in 1947. Vietnam says China's recent actions violate international law.