Vietnam has asked China to immediately, unconditionally release a fishing vessel and its crew, seized a week ago while fishing offshore Vietnam ’s coast, said a spokesperson from the Foreign Ministry.

Spokesperson Nguyen Phuong Nga made the statement on March 29 in response to questions from reporters on Vietnam ’s reaction to an incident where the Chinese sea patrol seized a Vietnamese fishing vessel QNg 50362 TS and its 12 fishermen, all from the central coast province of Quang Ngai , on March 22 and demanded they pay a fine. The event occurred while the boat was fishing around the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, which is under Vietnamese sovereignty.

“After getting information on the case, the Foreign Ministry of Vietnam met with the Chinese side to clearly affirm Vietnam ’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa archipelago. It asked the Chinese side to inquire into the exact circumstances of the incident, then inform the Vietnamese side of the results, and, in any case, to immediately and unconditionally release the vessel and all the fishermen,” she said./.