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South China Sea: Fisherman shot amid increased competition for fishing rights August 24,2020   |  Source: NZ Herald

A Vietnamese sailor has been shot dead this week in a clash with Malaysian authorities as competition for increasingly scarce fishing resources heats up in the South China Sea.

A Vietnamese fishing boat reportedly attempted to ram a Malaysian coastguard vessel on Monday.

"The coastguard crew had earlier fired warning shots in the air. But after they rammed and threw a bottle of petrol, my men had no choice but to open fire in self-defence," said Malaysia's coastguard chief Mohamad Zubil Mat Som.

One Vietnamese fisherman was shot. He was pronounced dead after being rushed ashore for treatment.

"We are saddened by this deadly incident. But I can guarantee … my men took this action to protect their lives and to protect our national sovereignty," Zubil added.

The fishing boat was one of a pair intruding on Malaysian waters. Vietnam's government does not dispute ownership of that region. Both boats and their crews have been detained.

Vietnamese fishers complain they are being driven further afield in an attempt to sustain their livelihoods. Their boats have been rammed, boarded and crews interrogated, they say, as Beijing attempts to assert its arbitrary claim to the exclusive control of the South China Sea's resources.

China's fishing militia – replete with

 

© 2020 NZME Publishing Limited

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