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Vietnam, China trade accusations after Vietnamese fishing

boat sinks
(Reporting by Nguyen Phuong Linh in HANOI and Michael Martina and Hui Li in BEIJING; Writing
by Dean Yates; Editing by Ron Popeski)
Earlier this month, mobs angered over the rig attacked mostly Taiwanese factories in Vietnam. Many
of the rioters mistook Taiwanese companies to be owned by mainland Chinese. At least four workers
were killed.
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Each side have blamed the other over those incidents. Until Monday, no ship had sunk.
The rig is 240 km (150 miles) off Vietnam's coast and 330 km (206 miles) from the southern coast of
China's Hainan island.
China claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea, displaying its reach on official maps with a
so-called nine-dash line that stretches deep into the maritime heart of Southeast Asia. The
Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims to parts of the potentially
energy-rich waters.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last week said his government was considering taking
legal action against China following the deployment of the rig.
"A Vietnamese boat from the central city of Da Nang was deliberately encircled by 40 fishing vessels
from China before it was attacked by a Chinese ship," the head of Vietnam's coastguard, Nguyen
Quang Dam, told Reuters by telephone.
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Vietnam has said the Haiyang Shiyou 981 rig is in its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and
on its continental shelf. China says it is operating within its waters.
That drew an angry response from China.
The incident took place around 17 nautical miles from the rig, which is drilling between the Paracel
islands occupied by China and the Vietnamese coast. China calls them the Xisha islands.
Xinhua said: "Crew aboard the boat were saved after their ship jostled a fishing boat from Dongfang
City in southern China's Hainan province and overturned in the waters near China's Xisha Islands."
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HANOI/BEIJING (Reuters) - Vietnam and China traded accusations on Tuesday over the sinking of a
Vietnamese fishing boat not far from where China has placed an oil rig in the disputed South China
Sea, as tensions fester between the two countries over the giant drilling platform.
China's official Xinhua news agency, citing a government source, said the vessel capsized after
"harassing and colliding with" a Chinese fishing boat.
Hanoi said some 40 Chinese fishing boats had surrounded the Vietnamese craft before one of them
rammed it and it sank. Vietnamese fishing boats operating nearby rescued the 10 fishermen on
board, the government and the coastguard said.
The $1 billion deepwater rig is owned by state-run China National Offshore Oil Company Group,
parent of flagship unit CNOOC Ltd.
HANOI/BEIJING Tue May 27, 2014 1:53am EDT
Scores of Vietnamese and Chinese ships, including coastguard vessels, have continued to square off
around the rig despite a series of collisions earlier this month after the platform was towed to the