Last Sunday, June 19, members of Seattle’s Vietnamese community protested against China, demanding that China stay out of Vietnam’s territory.
In the past month, Vietnam has accused Chinese boats of preventing Vietnamese vessels from conducting oil and gas exploration in the waters of its central coast. Vietnam said Chinese boats cut cables of state-run PetroVietnam. The cables are used to conduct seismic surveys.
China responded by saying the clashes occurred because the Vietnamese boat endangered the lives of Chinese fishermen.
The conflicts occurred near the Spratly Islands, which are claimed by both Vietnam and China, as well as other Asian countries. Vietnam and China have a long history of maritime clashes in disputed parts of the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands, which are teeming with fish and believed rich in oil and gas reserves.
China says territorial disputes should be handled one-on-one, but Vietnam has said it welcomes foreign assistance to maintain regional peace and stability. ♦
The Associated Press contributed to this report.