Chinese rhetoric over its disputed territories appears to be as fierce as ever, with a new passport map creating new tensions and even reports that China plans to board ships in areas disputed by rival nations.
New reports in Vietnamese media appear to show an even bigger provocation, however.
The English-language version of Tuoi Tre , the largest newspaper in the country, reports today:
The seismic survey cable of Vietnam’s Binh Minh 02 was severed last Friday off the country’s Con Co Island because of two Chinese fishing boats. This is the second time that the ship has faced the same incident, the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) reported.
As shown on the website of PetroVietnam (PVN), at 4:05 am of November 30, 2012, when Binh Minh 02, a State-owned ship that was conducting a seismic survey in the sedimentary basin outside the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin, it encountered a large number of Chinese fishing boats operating there.
When Vietnam’s concerned agencies sent warning signals to Chinese boats, requesting them to leave the area of working of Binh Minh 02, two out of these Chinese boats numbered 16025 and 16028 sailed past the back of the Vietnamese ship. The movement of the two boats caused the cable of Binh Minh 02 to be cut off.
According to AFP, Vietnam had previously accused Chinese vessels accused of cutting the cables of the Binh Minh 2 in a similar incident happening in May 2011.
Earlier today, however, PetroVietnam CEO seemed to attempt to calm the situation. “China cut the cables by accident,” Do Van Hau said in a phone interview with Bloomberg. “It’s unlike last time when they intentionally cut our cables.”
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