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Vietnam says a fishing boat was sunk by China

Tensions between Vietnam and China have been escalating ever since China placed an oil rig in disputed waters off of the coast of Vietnam. Hanoi recently accused China of sinking a Vietnamese fishing boat in those disputed waters in the South China Sea reported Al Jazeera on May 25, 2014. The Vietnamese vessel sank on Monday 18 miles southwest of the large oil rig that China deployed in the area.

 Chinese nationals leaving Vietnam disembark from the passenger vessel Wuzhishan after the ship  arrived at the Xiuying Port in Haikou, China.
ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

Heated emotions over the presence of the Chinese oil rig off of the coast of Vietnam sparked off violent anti-China riots in Vietnam for a month. This led to an evacuation of 3,000 Chinese citizens from Vietnam. Tran Van Linh, a representative of the Vietnamese fishing industry, said on Tuesday that 40 Chinese boats had surrounded a group of Vietnamese vessels and rammed and sank one of them. The other Vietnamese boats picked up the people who were on board the sunken boat.

Linh has called the alleged attack a "perverse, brutal and inhumane action" by the Chinese. However, China has blamed the Vietnamese side for this incident and claims the Vietnamese vessel had been harassing a Chinese fishing boat. The governments of Vietnam and China have since begun talks about this volatile incident. The two countries remain in a tense standoff in the South China Sea with their vessels occasionally colliding with each other during recent weeks.

Vietnam and China have been trading accusations over the sunken boat reports The Wall Street Journal. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang says the Vietnamese fishing boat entered waters near the oil rig and than collided with a Chinese fishing boat and capsized. He says the Vietnamese vessel took dangerous actions on the seas.

However, Le Hai Binh, Vietnam's foreign ministry spokesman, has accused Chinese vessels of ramming the Vietnamese fishing boat and sinking it. There are concerns worldwide this situation could escalate into a deadly war between the two nations if restraint is not immediately shown by both sides. The Vietnamese and Chinese will have to meet to carefully work out their differences if they want to avoid a war which could leave all of Asia in ashes and create havoc worldwide.

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