The Chinese who are holding 12 Vietnamese fishermen on Hoang Sa (Paracel Islands) on July 5 have called a Vietnamese fishing boat owner to reiterate their demand for payment for the captive fishermen and boats.

According to the Foreign Ministry spokesperson–Le Dung, Chinese patrol forces on June 21 arrested three fishing boats manned by 37 fishermen from Quang Ngai province while they were fishing normally in the waters of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago. The seizure is “a clear violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty and sovereign rights in the East Sea,” said Dung.

Duong Van Tho, the owner of the QNg 6569 fishing boat in the central province of Quang Ngai, said that after many days of no contact, the Chinese people who arrested the 12 Vietnamese fishermen called him again on July 5.

“I was very surprised hearing the voice of the Chinese interpreter on the phone,” Tho said. “He asked me whether I had the ransom money or not and then he gave the phone to my elder brother Duong Van Huong (the arrested captain).”

According to Tho, the talk was stopped when Huong asked Tho about the situation at home and Tho answered that he could not come up with the money.

Tho said that in this short conversation with his elder brother, he heard the Chinese interpreter tell his brother to “tell your family to prepare the ransom quickly, otherwise you will be handed over to Hainan police in the next few days.”

An Hai commune People’s Committee Office’s chairman Nguyen Chi Thanh said that the concerns of the families of the12 arrested fishermen are increasing but the local authorities are still resolved to not pay the demanded sum.

Quang Ngai province vice chairman Truong Ngoc Nhi told Tien Phong Daily that the situation has not changed yet.

Source: VOVNews & VietNamNet