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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kong Quan's Comment on the Case of Armed Robbery in the Beibu Gulf
2005-01-18

Q: It is reported that an armed robbery took place in the Beibu Gulf recently. Could you confirm the news?

A: On the morning of January 8th, several fishing boats from China's Hainan Province were operating normally on the Chinese side in the Beibu Gulf when they were robbed and shot at by three unidentified armed ships. Getting the call for help from the Chinese fishermen, China's police ship went to save them immediately. The three armed ships took the first to shoot, hitting the Chinese ships and police. The Chinese maritime police were forced to take necessary actions, shot several armed robbers dead, captured 1 pirating ship and 8 robbers and confiscated their weapons, ammunitions and tools on the spot. This is a severe case of armed robbery on the sea.

Through interrogation, the robbers captured admitted themselves Vietnamese and confessed every criminal fact. They further confessed that they had previously committed four other armed robberies against Chinese ships in the waters of Beibu Gulf. The Chinese side has informed the Vietnamese side of the case according to China-Vietnam Treaty of Consular Affairs. Right now, the Chinese side has got sufficient and irrefutable witnesses and material evidence and will hear the case in accordance with the Chinese law.

Since the Agreement on the Delimitation of the Territorial Sea in Beibu Gulf and the Agreement between the two sides on Fishery Co-operation in Beibu Gulf took effect, the overall situation of Baybu Gulf is stable, but there also occurred some cases of armed robberies against the Chinese fishing ships, which severely threaten the life and property safety of both Chinese and Vietnamese fishermen. We are ready to closely coordinate with the Vietnamese side, take concretely effective measures in line with bilateral consensus and strengthen cooperation in combating the maritime crimes, so as to jointly safeguard security and stability of the Beibu Gulf.

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