China kidnaps more Vietnamese citizens off Paracel Islands

Thanh Nien News
27 March 2010

A boat of Vietnam fishermen was seized by China in the waters surrounding the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, coastal guards in the central province of Quang Ngai said Friday.

Chinese authorities have asked for US$7,860 in ransom for release of the people.

Tieu Viet La, a Quang Ngai local resident and captain of the boat, informed the guards via radio that he and his 12 member crew, mostly relatives, was captured on Wednesday, local newswire Vietnamnet reported.

La said they were about to leave Hoang Sa’s Phu Lam Island Sa after a night diving for holothurian when they were detained by the Chinese. Chinese guards were now keeping them at Phu Lam island and were asking for VND150 million in return for the fishermen and the boat.

This was the first time La sailed with the boat, a second-hand one he bought early this year after his other boat was seized by China in similar situation.

Vietnam has proved its historic sovereignty over Hoang Sa, but Chinese boats are detected in its waters almost every day.

Last year the Chinese captured 17 fishing boats with some 210 fishermen from Quang Ngai while they were fishing or taking shelter during storms off the Hoang Sa islands, according to the provincial coast guard.

Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a note to China last year asking them to stop such harassment and abuse.

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