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Vietnam Lodges China Protest Over South China Sea Actions

Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Vietnam lodged a protest with China after it said Chinese fishing boats intentionally blocked a Vietnamese seismic survey vessel, according to a statement on the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website late yesterday.

Two Chinese fishing boats Nov. 30 obstructed the Binh Minh 2 in waters within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, according to the statement. The block caused the survey vessel’s cables to break, and occurred despite warning signals from Vietnamese authorities, according to the statement.

The incident is one of a series of recent actions that “seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos as well as Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdictional rights over its waters,” Luong Thanh Nghi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said in the statement. Hoang Sa and Truong Sa are the Vietnamese names for the Paracel and Spratly islands.

China’s Hainan province on Nov. 27 adopted revised border security regulations for its coastal regions, covering Hoang Sa and Truong Sa, Vietnam’s foreign ministry said in the statement. The ministry said China published on Nov. 23 a map of Sansha City that includes the two archipelagos and which incorporates parts of Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

Representatives from Vietnam’s foreign ministry met with Chinese Embassy representatives in Hanoi on Dec. 3 to “firmly protest those actions by China, demand China respect Vietnam’s sovereignty, immediately stop those wrongful practices and not let similar actions recur,” Nghi said in the statement.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Heath at nheath2@bloomberg.net

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