Vietnam Raises Issue Over Chinese Piracy
On September 11, 2010, the Chinese navy captured several more Vietnamese fishermen in the Southeast Asia Sea. The civilians are currently detained by the Beijing government, possibly awaiting ransom from Hanoi. The incident took place in close proximity to the Paracel Islands (Hoang Sa) where the Chinese claim to control.
Days ago, October 6, 2010, Hanoi published statements demanding the release of the fishermen from Chinese custody. The Chinese accuse the fishermen of carrying explosives on their boat and refuse to release them until a fine is paid (remember the “ransom” that I previously mentioned). Hanoi, however, states that there were no explosives, no law has been broken and that the fishermen are not at fault. The fishermen are still in Chinese custody and are yet to be released.
For the first time, the Vietnamese government has taken a less-than-shameful stance on behalf of their citizens. A regional security meeting is to take place in Hanoi next week. High-ranking Chinese officials will be there, U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, will also be attending. What this means for Vietnam-China relations is still yet to be determined. The situation has been quiet in Vietnam lately, hopefully something good will come in the near future.