In a courageous show of power, the Vietnamese authorities has taken hold of a Chinese vessel in the South China sea, reports say.
The Vietnamese coast guard in the northern port city of Haiphong confirmed that the said ship carrying diesel fuel was seized, the report added. The incident at the infamous Gulf of Tonkin on Thursday has seen a rise in tensions between the two Asian countries.
According to reports from WSJ, the Border Defense Force of Haiphong City found the vessel carrying 100,000 liters of diesel oil Thursday near Vietnam’s Bach Long Vi Island in the Gulf of Tonkin, which is run by Hanoi Police Department. After seizing it, the force towed the ship to the city.
The captain of the Chinese ship admitted to the intrusion, telling Vietnamese officials the ship was carrying fuel for Chinese fishing boats operating in Vietnamese waters.
Vietnamese authorities are investigating the case and are yet comment on the seizure, the report added.
The two countries – China and Vietnam – hasn’t been the best of friends apparently though this seem to be the biggest territorial escalation between the two since 2014. In the year 2014 a similar event occurred as China towed an oil rig to disputed waters in the South China Sea, triggering dangerous boat ramming and anti-China riots in Vietnam.
Areas around the East/South China sea and specifically the Spratly islands has been the bone of contention for China and neighboring countries. Politicization of the South China sea has kept the U.S. on it’s toes.
The U.S. government is preaching peaceful and lawful negotiations without any form of intimidation or threats from the strongest power in the region, China.
With negotiations going on in the past two years between the countries involved, the recent seizure seem to be a sign that there’s no peace in sight.