BEIJING – China hopes to resolve “as soon as possible” the incident of the Chinese fishing boat that was sunk this week by the Argentine coast guard, said an official spokesperson who reiterated Beijing’s “grave concerns” over the incident.
“We hope that the incident can be resolved appropriately as soon as possible,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang, at a press conference, adding the two countries were discussing the incident through diplomatic channels.
On Monday, an Argentine coast guard shot and sank the Chinese trawler Lu Yuan Yu 10, which according to Buenos Aires was fishing illegally in the waters of the Latin American country.
After a chase of several hours, the Chinese ship allegedly tried to steer into the Argentine vessel, forcing the latter to open fire, which sank the Chinese boat.
The 32 crew members on board, however, were rescued unharmed.
The Chinese Foreign Affairs ministry lodged a formal complaint with Buenos Aires over the incident, calling for an official investigation and strict measures to “avoid another similar incident” according to Lu, who insisted Beijing was confident this incident will not affect bilateral relations.
Meanwhile, although Lu denied it, according to the Chinese media, the trawler was owned by the Yantai Marine Fisheries, which is part of the state fishing conglomerate, China National Agricultural Development Group.