HANOI: Vietnam has protested China for reportedly assaulting its fishermen in disputed waters in the South China Sea. Thursday's Vietnam News quotes Foreign Ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi as saying Chinese action "seriously infringed" upon Vietnam's sovereignty and "gravely threatened lives and property."
The newspaper says China used force to threaten 11 Vietnamese fishermen on a vessel on Feb. 22 and prevented them from entering the Paracel islands to avoid a storm. The paper also says Chinese forces were reported to have assaulted the fishermen and tried to take their property.
The newspaper says the Vietnamese foreign ministry has met with Chinese embassy officials to lodge protests.
China has occupied the disputed Paracels since 1974.