BEIJING - The attack on a Chinese fishing boat by the Argentine coast guard was "barbaric" and "brutal" and "unacceptable", Chinese official daily Global Times said Thursday in an editorial.
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, prompting the latter to fire shots at the boat, which then sank.
The editorial says that even if the Argentine authorities' version of events were true, sinking the boat was going "too far" as the action endangered the life of the fishermen on board, and one that was not expected of a "sensible coast guard."
The piece adds, sinking unarmed boats is "barbaric" according to international norms, which "never suggested using such deadly force" to punish illegal fishing.
China called on Argentina Wednesday to urgently investigate the incident and presented a formal complaint, demanding effective measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Meanwhile, the Global Times editorial urged Argentine authorities to uncover the "real reasons" behind the incident and punish those responsible, as well as ensure such "brutal law enforcement" does not recur.