FM: Vietnamese sea bandits shot, captured
Chinese maritime police shot dead several armed robbers and captured eight others who were trying to rob Chinese fishing boats operating on January 8 at the Chinese side of the Beibu Gulf, the Foreign Ministry said Saturday.
According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan, on the morning of January 8, several Chinese fishing boats from Hainan Province were operating on the Chinese side of the Beibu Gulf, and three unidentified armed vessels came trying to rob and firing at the Chinese boats.
Chinese maritime police rushed to the spot for rescue immediately after receiving report from the fishermen. The three armed vessels opened fire at the police boats and injured Chinese law enforcement personnel, Kong said.
The Chinese maritime police were forced to take necessary actions. They shot dead several armed robbers, seized one of the armed vessels and eight robbers along with their weapons and ammunition and tools, he said.
Calling it a "serious armed robbery case at sea," Kong said the robbers had confessed they were Vietnamese, and had committed four armed robberies of Chinese fishing boats in the Beibu Gulf before.
The Chinese side has informed the Vietnamese side of the issue in detail in accordance with the Sino-Vietnamese consulate treaty, Kong said. "The Chinese has abundant and irrefutable human testimony and material evidence, and will handle the case according to Chinese law."
The spokesman said since the agreements on demarcation and fishery cooperation in the Beibu Gulf between China and Vietnam took effect last June, the overall situation there is stable. However, the armed robberies of Chinese fishing boats have posed serious threat to the life and property safety of Chinese and Vietnamese fishermen.
China is willing to cooperate closely with Vietnam so that the two countries
can take effective measures to combat maritime crimes and safeguard security and
stability in the Beibu Gulf, he said.