Chinese Ship Sinks Vietnamese Fishing Boat

China vietnamREUTERS/Nguyen MinhAn officer of the Vietnamese Marine Guard speaks on a radio as he monitors a Chinese coast guard vessel (top) on the South China Sea, about 210 km (130 miles) offshore of Vietnam May 15, 2014. Anti-China violence subsided in Vietnam on Friday after the prime minister called for calm, but the United States said China’s ‘provocative’ actions in maritime disputes were dangerous and had to stop.

Territorial tensions in Asia continue to rise.

The latest: A Chinese ship has reportedly sunk a Vietnamese fishing boat near a disputed Chinese oil rig in the South China Sea, reports the Nikkei.

Hanoi claims that about 40 Chinese fishing boats surrounded a Vietnamese vessel before one of them began ramming it.

China’s official Xinhua news agency reported that the boat capsized after “harassing and colliding with” a Chinese fishing boat.

Vietnamese and Chinese ships have been running into each other near the rig ever since China towed a platform to the site earlier this month. No ships have sunken until now.

The recent tensions have ignited major anti-China protests in Vietnam. The demonstrations started peacefully have turned deadly.

In addition to Vietnam, China has recently amped up territorial disputes with Japan and the Philippines. China claims about 90% of the South China Sea.

Incidentally, there’s a WSJ piece out this evening about Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, and his goals for a more assertive foreign policy, including more aide to Vietnam.

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