The incidence which has raised the hackles of Vietnamese armed forced happened in May when one of its offshore oil and gas exploration ship was attacked and harassed by an increasing expansionist Chinese navy.
The Vietnamese ship, the Binh Minh 02, detected the Chinese patrol boats approaching on radar at about 5 a.m on Thursday, the official Vietnam News Agency reported. About an hour later, the three Chinese boats intentionally ran through the area where the Vietnamese ship was working, snapping cables the ship was using, then left the scene after about three hours, it said.
China’s Foreign Ministry blamed Vietnam for the incident
“China’s stance on the South China Sea is clear and consistent. We oppose oil and gas operations conducted by Vietnam, which have undermined China’s interests and jurisdictional rights in the South China Sea and violated the consensus both countries have reached on the issue,” ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.
“What relevant Chinese departments did was completely normal marine law-enforcement and surveillance activities in China’s jurisdictional sea area,” she said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website (www.mfa.gov.cn).
“China has been committed to safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea. We are willing to work together with relevant parties to seek a solution to related disputes,” Jiang added.
Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry protested against the incident by passing a diplomatic note to representatives of the Chinese embassy in Hanoi on Thursday.The incident caused outrage in Vietnam, resulting in public protests at the Chinese embassy and hacker attacks on Chinese government websites.
China's military has been expanding its capabilities and influence in the South China Sea with a new submarine base on Hainan Island, and preparations are underway to begin sea trials of its first aircraft carrier.
China and Vietnam have been engaged in conflict or small skirmishes in the South China Sea since the 1970s. In 1974 China in a blatant violation of international laws took the Paracel Islands by military force from South Vietnam, but Vietnam refuses to recognize Chine occupation and claims that territory as its own. China has found new way of harassing and humiliating Vietnam by arresting its fishermen for no reason. Chinese navy infiltrate into the Vietnamese water and pick up fishermen just to show its might.
In 1988 China and Vietnam fought over the Johnson South Reef in the South China Sea. China sank two Vietnamese naval vessels and opened fired on Vietnamese troops occupying the reef. More than 30 unarmed sailors and 3 transport ship was sunk by the imperialistic Chinese Navy
The South China Sea covers an area of more than 648,000 sq miles (1.7 million sq km), containing more than 200 mostly uninhabitable small islands, rocks and reefs.
China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all claim territories in the sea, which covers an important shipping route and is thought to hold untapped oil and gas reserves.The incident this week took place in an area called Block 148 about 120 km (80 miles) off the south-central coast of Vietnam from the beach town of Nha Trang, the Vietnamese news agency said.