Despite the confiscation of their sea catches and boat, it is thankful that the Chinese government has some minimal decency to release the fishermen without the outrageous and prohibitive ransom fees. It is happy event for the families to be reunited. Some fathers see their newly born sons for the first time.
These fishermen are just pawns in the dispute of the two countries that China has illegally occupied Hoang Sa (Paracel) islands. China is too powerful that the Vietnamese government has failed years after years to protect its citizens at sea. China has continously been arresting Vietnamese fishermen for the past decade. Vietnam has never sent its navy to protect its territorial water that fishermen do their work.
A society can be judged how it treats its prisoners. According to the captured fishermen, some are beaten by Chinese guards during their capture. Furthemore, they were sleeping on the cement floor without any mats, which put them at risk to catch bronchitis or pneumonia. Chinese civilization is one of the oldest and greatest in the history of mankind, but the inhumane treatment of their captives shows that the regime has little regard for human life. Despite China is the fastest growing economy of the world, the majority of wealthy Chinese want to leave their “beloved homeland” in for the West.
At least, these men were fortunate to be alive in the Chinsese communist custody because if they were in the Vietnamese communist custody, their risks of being beaten to death would be higher as it has become a common occurrence that one Vietnamese citizen die per month during police custody.
A Vietnamese fisherman said Monday he was beaten during the seven weeks he was held in Chinese detention for fishing near disputed islands, amid heightened maritime tensions between Hanoi and Beijing.
Le Lon, who along with 20 other Vietnamese nationals was released Friday after 49 days in Chinese custody, said he had been mistreated by his jailers and kept in harsh conditions.
“We were each given just two bowls of rice with some vegetables and very little water every day,” Lon, 46, told AFP.
“All of us were kept in a room of around 40 square metres. We slept on the cement floor without mats,” he said by phone from Ly Son island.
The two Vietnamese fishing boats and crew were picked up by China early March for fishing near the Paracel Islands – known as Hoang Sa in Vietnamese and Xisha in Chinese – which are claimed by both countries.
One of the two Vietnamese vessels brought the fishermen back home but one is still being held by China, Lon said, adding he and the captain of the other Vietnamese boat had been repeatedly questioned by Chinese authorities.
The incident was the latest in a string of diplomatic rows in the South China Sea involving Beijing and a host of other regional nations.
China says it has sovereign rights to all the disputed waters, believed to sit atop vast oil and gas deposits, including areas close to the coastlines of other countries and hundreds of kilometres from its own landmass.
China and South Vietnam once administered different parts of the Paracels but after a brief conflict in 1974 Beijing took control of the entire group of islands – although this remains disputed by Hanoi.
The islands are a constant source of tension between the two neighbours, exacerbated by additional disputes over the Spratly archipelago – also in the South China Sea.
Earlier this month, a Chinese cruise operator said one of its ships had gone on a trial tour to the Paracel islands, in another move that angered Hanoi, which said the trip was “illegal.”
Source Asia One