BEIJING – China on Wednesday called on Argentina to urgently investigate an attack on a Chinese fishing boat by the Argentine coast guard, to ensure the “security and legal interests” of Chinese fishing boats, and open dialogue with Argentine authorities.
A Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Lu Kang, in a statement called for “effective measures” to prevent a repeat of such an incident.
According to official sources in Argentina, a Chinese boat, Lu Yuan Yu 10, was found trespassing Monday in Argentina’s exclusive economic zone, prompting the Argentine Coast Guard GC-28, to issue warnings to the fishermen.
The sources added, a “protocol of deterrence” was launched to stop the boat and the Argentine Coast Guard fired “intimidating shots” when instead of stopping, the boat tried to flee towards international waters.
The sources justified the Argentine action saying the Chinese fishing boat allegedly steered itself to collide “with the coast guard, putting not only its own crew at risk, but also the personnel of the coast guard.”
The statement of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, however, says the boat was fishing in Argentine fishing ground and was pursued for several hours by the coast guard before they opened fired and sank the boat.
The Chinese statement also said four of the crew members were rescued by the coast guard, while 28 other sailors were rescued by other Chinese fishing boats who were close by when the incident happened.
No injuries have been reported.